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early age. colleagues, these statistics are too many. and it is time for action now. this problem must be fixed. and we must remember when we talk about rights, children have a right to be safe. so i applaud president obama and vice president biden for proactively taking the necessary steps to address this critical issue. it's going to take all of us united, regardless of party affiliation or our differing views on constitutional rights, to stem this tide of violence. more importantly we must take a hard look at funding for mental health services and other services. we must look at sinking technology -- syncing technology to ensure proper and tighter access to firearms. we must place adequate controls on ammunition. bottom line, we must protect our
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schools, our communities, children and families must be safe. i respectfully ask my colleagues to make this issue of violence a priority and to support our nation's leadership as they work through resolving this challenge which should not be difficult. if we compromise and keep focusing on saving lives. madam chair, i pledge to support you and to support all my other colleagues with the congressional black caucus to make a difficult task safe and to protect the lives of our children and families from gun fire and a culture of violence. . ms. fudge: i thank the gentlelady from ohio for participating. we certainly know how difficult this is going to be as we move forward, but i'm pleased. thank you so much.
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i yield to the gentleman from new jersey who has joined our caucus. representative donald payne junior. pain pain mr. speaker, let me -- mr. payne: let me begin by thanking my chairwoman, fudge for anchoring this evening's special order on the culture of violence. coming together to address unviolence and bullying in america is long overdue. there must be something extraordinarily do truly curb these atrocities from occurringing in our community. too many innocent men, women and children have died because of the ease of access to illegal firearms. 15 of 25 of the worst mass shootings in our history have
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occurred in america in the last 50 years. harvard injury control research center studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the u.s. where there are guns, both men and women are at a higher risk for homicide, particularly from firearms. these statistics are tragic. we must do something and we must do something now. on the issue of bullying, bullying is also a major concern in our nation. we will be -- who will we be able to tell what will become of the next generation if statistics continue to rise with each national report on bullying. i'm very sensitive to this issue, because i have three young children at home. and i perish the thought that they would be subjected to such
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action. we are losing our next generation of poets, musicians, doctors, lawyers, scientists and athletes to scienceless gun violence and aggressive bullying. one out of four teenagers is bullied and furthersmore deterred from their academic potential. 282,000 students are physically bullied in secondary schools each month, each month. one out of 10 children drop out of school because of bullying. we must take measures to protect our nation's future generation from the mass murder at the movie theater in colorado to sandy hook elementary school in connecticut, to the school yard killings at mount vernon elementary school in newark, new
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jersey. four youngsters with their futures ahead of them were violently murdered by a gang behind a school. i have seen what damage guns can do in the wrong hands. let us be steadfast in making sure that events like these never happen again. gun violence and bullying in america are not just problems, they are a national health issue. what are the solutions? well, federal action is yielding some progress. the brady law of 1994 has blocked the sale of firearms over 1.6 million felons, fugitives and other individuals. still, more is needed. proactive approaches include renewing the assault weapons ban, closing the gun show loophole and mandating installation of trigger locks and eliminating influxes of
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cheaply-made weapons. this doesn't infringe on anyone's right to bear arms in this nation, but we have to do things that are common sense. there are guns that have been outlawed in this nation's history. you cannot get a submachine gun or a sawed-off shotgun, why shouldn't assault weapons be added to that group? also, gun buy-back programs in my state have removed hundreds of guns from the streets and i am considering offering legislation to bring these programs to scale on the federal level to help stem the tide of violence. these measures would undoubtedly save lives. enough is enough. it is time to take action. thank you, madam chairwoman. and i yield back the balance of my time.
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ms. fudge: thank you so much. i thank the gentleman. and i'm pleased to know how supportive you are of efforts to make this country a safer place. mr. speaker, each year in its uniform crime report, the f.b.i. compiles a list of the cities with the most murders per capita. according to the most report which uses data from 2011. there were over 3,300 murders that occurred in 15 cities. 515 murders in new york city in 2011. 431 in chicago, illinois. 3444 in detroit, michigan. 324 in philadelphia, pennsylvania. 297 in los angeles, california. 200 in new orleans, louisiana. 198 in houston, texas. 196 in baltimore, maryland. 133 in dallas, texas.
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117 in memphis, tennessee. 116 in phoenix, arizona. 113 in st. louis, missouri. 108 in washington, d.c.,. 108 in kansas city, missouri. and 104 in oakland, california. some people may think that violence is only prevalent in urban america, but that is not true. recent mass murders have occurred in places like tucson, arizona, aurora, colorado, oak creek, wisconsin and newtown, consut. violence is truly all around us. it is at our movie theaters, our shopping centers, colleges places of worship and even our elementary school. during the sandy hook elementary tragedy in newtown, connecticut, a gunman took the lives of 26 people, including 20 children as young as the age of five.
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the victims were killed at a place where we all consider to be safe. since 1982, there have been more than 60 mass murders carried out with firearms across this country. we have had 19 mass shootings in the last five years alone. that is a rate of more than one every four months. the uptick in these types of crimes should be enough, should be enough, to push our nation forward to reassessing our gun laws. unfortunately, our country appears to be at a standstill. each year, 30,000 americans lose their lives as a result of gun fire and about 80,000 americans were wounded in that same period of time. the number of gun crimes continues to be high and yet, we, as a nation, are hesitant to take immediate action to address this issue. 33 americans are murdered with
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guns every single day. our nation has the distinction of having the highest rate of firearm violence in the world. proponents of gun rights say that there is an absolute right to bear arms. mr. speaker, i disagree. all rights are subject to reasonable restrictions. one can't support the second amendment while also advocating for policies that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people. we must create a comprehensive national gun policy that eliminates loopholes in the laws, bans assault weapons and places limits on high-capacity magazines. under current federal law, back grouped checks are only required for gun sales at licensed dealers. according to mayors against illegal guns, approximately 6.6 million guns are sold each year
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in america by unlicensed private sellers. that translates to 40% of all u.s. gun sales. these transactions typically occur online or at a gun show without the buyer having to pass a background check. federal laws carve out a broad exception for private gun sellers, who only make what are called occasional sales other who sell from a personal collection. what is a problem about this, there is no such standard for what is considered an occasional sale. in a national survey of inmates conducted by the bureau of justice statistics, it was found that nearly 80% of those who used a handgun in a crime acquired it in a private transfer. in another troubling statistic, in 2009, new york city
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undercover investigation -- a new york city undercover investigation at seven gun shows in three states found that 63% of private sellers at those shows were willing to someone who admitted they couldn't pass a background check. the private sale loophole has made it far too easy for criminals to exploit the system to obtain guns. for example, in october, 2012, one was able to purchase a gun from a private seller, even though he was federally prohibited from doing so. his wife had initiated a restraining order against him. he used the gun that he purchased online to go to a spa where his wife worked. he killed her and two other people and injured four other people before killing himself. requiring uniform criminal background checks for every gun sale is something that has
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garnered broad support. a 2012 survey by a republican pollster revealed that 82% of gun owners, including 74% of national rifle association members, support requiring criminal background checks for potential gun owners. this is a prime example of a sensible gun regulation that should be implemented and now. failing to fully enforce current laws can be just as bad as not having any laws at all, mr. speaker. since its creation in 1999, the national institute of background checks system has prevented more than 1.7 million permit applications and gun sales to felons. the mentally ill and drug abusers have been stopped in some instances. they have a number of gaps in limitations that still enable firearms to be sold to dangerous
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people. many prohibited purchasers are able to get their hands on guns, because nics are missing millions of records due to lax federal and state agencies. some have submitted fewer than 100 mental health records. 17 states have submitted fewer than 10 mental health records. and four states have not submitted any mental records at all. states' substance abuse records have been underreported. 44 states have submitted fewer than 10 records to the federal data base and 33 states have not submitted any records at all. federal agencies have also dragged their feet in fulfilling their reporting responsibilities. despite being required to do so, many federal agencies have shared very few mental health
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records. only nine of the 60 federal agencies listed in relevant f.b.i. data have submitted any mental health records. incomplete records have allowed dangerous killers to purchase guns. in 2007, cho shot and killed 32 people at virginia tech before taking his life. cho had been found mentally ill by a judge and as a result he should have been prohibited from buying a gun. he was able to slip through the cracks and pass a background check at a licensed gun dealer, because his mental records were never submitted to nics. it is clear that our background check system is broken and needs to be fixed. the prevalence of assault weapons is another issue that raises great concern for me.
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these military-style weapons tend to be the weapon of choice in mass shootings and police murder. these kinds of weapons have been used to inflict the greatest amount of pain in the shortest amount of time. in a study of high-profile shootings over the past four years, mayors against illegal guns have found that at least a third of those shootings involved assault weapons and/or high-capacity magazines. they were used in newtown, connecticut on december 14, 2012 to kill 26 people. in oak creek, wisconsin on august 5 to kill six people and wound three others. in aurora, colorado on july 20, 2012, to kill 12 people and injury 58 others. in tucson, arizona, on january 8, 2011, to kill six people and wound 13 others.
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in fort hood, texas on november 5, 2009 to kill 13 people and wound 34 others. in new york, on april 3, 2009, to kill 13 people and injury four others. . on june 8, 2009 in chesapeake, virginia, a gunman shot two police officers with a semi automatic a, k-47 assault weapon, firing at least 30 rounds. in st. louis -- in st. louis, missouri, timothy hendron entered an ink factory with a handgun, a shotgun and a semi-automatic ak-47 rifle with high-capacity ammunition magazines. he fired approximately 115 rounds, killing three and wounding five, before taking his own life.
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after the shooting the police chief of st. louis said, our officers didn't have sufficient weapon systems to engage a person with an ak-47. on january 26, 2011, in oklahoma city, oklahoma, a police officer was ambushed by a teenager who fired a semi-automatic weapon 26 times. responding to the crime, oklahoma city police chief stated, they are just more and more assault rifles out there and it is becoming a bigger threat to law enforcement each day. they are outgunned. reinstating the assault weapon ban must be a priority for our nation. it is estimated that there are nearly 18 million assault weapons in circulation in the united states.
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a 2010 survey by the police executive research forum revealed that there has been an increase in criminal use of assault weapons since the federal ban expired in 2004. 37% of police agencies have reported noticeable increases, weapons with the ability to carry out such deadly force do not belong on our streets, mr. speaker. there is no justification for the use of these weapons anywhere but on the battlefield for which they were designed. i firmly support banning assault weapons of all types. a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines has been endorsed by several organizations including mayors against illegal guns, the international association of chiefs of police, major cities chief association, the national association of women law enforcement executives, the national organization of black law enforcement executives, the
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police executive research forum, the police foundation and international association of campus law enforcement administrators. the culture of violence doesn't necessarily start with guns. it can often be traced back to mental health concerns and bullying. according to the substance abuse and mental health services administrations' 2009 national survey on drug use and health, there was an estimated 45.1 million u.s. adults living with a mental illness. that is 20% of all american adults. sadly only 17 million of these adults receive services to address their illness. a significant number of the country's inmates also have mental health problems. according to the department of justice's 2004 survey of inmates in state and federal correction facilities and its 2002 survey of inmates in local jails,
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nearly 45% of all inmates in federal prison have a mental health problem. over 55% of the inmates in state prison have a mental health problem and nearly 65% of inmates in local jails have a mental problem. we cannot continue to ignore the fact that we need to do more to address the issue of mental health. turning our back on this problem will not make it go away. the use -- the issue of bullying has become rampant in our society. too many of our children are being bullied during and after school and on the internet. according to stomp out bullying, it is estimated that one out of four teens is bullied during their lifetime. 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. more than 40% say it has happened to them more than once.
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53% of kids admit having said something mean or hurtful to another person online. and more than one in three has done it more than once. 58% have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online. many believe that bullying is a rite of passage. i'm here to tell that you it is not. bullying is intentional. it is cruel and abusive. it can set the tone for a lifetime of hurt. many people are never the same after being bullied. depression, anxiety and many other psychological problems can result from bullying. some turn to substance abuse, even suicide. bullying is no joking matter. it is not something to be taken lightly. we must inform our children of the consequences of bullying. we must be attentive and listen to their cries for help.
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how many of our children need to fall victim to this cruel behavior before we are moved to act? we must address this issue now. and, mr. speaker, as i close, it is very clear, very, very clear that we live in a culture of violence. the culture of violence has rask anded our communities, -- ravaged our communities, taken the lives of millions of americans, ripping apart millions of families and destroying families along the way. we must act now because our nation is depending on us. anyone who believes that it is ok to use a gun in an open theater is not really thinking very rationally. someone who believes that you can put a police officer at every single entrance into a school is really not thinking very rationally. we have to do something, no matter what our personal beliefs are, we're all here to work for the american public, not ourselves. we may have a personal opinion as to what should be done about
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guns, but the people of america are speaking and we need to listen to them. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair announces the speaker's appointment pursuant to senate concurrent resolution 2, 113th congress, and the order of the house of january 3, 2013, of the following members on the part of the house, the joint congressional committee on inaugural ceremonies. the clerk: mr. boehner of ohio, mr. cantor of virginia, ms. pelosi of california. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the house stands in recess su
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true -- 1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts that have been pushed off until next month. the fact is, we cannot finish the job of that is the reduction through spending cuts alone. the cuts we have already made to priorities other than medicare, medicaid, so security and defense mean that we spend on everything from education to public safety less as a share of the economy that has been true for a generation. that is not a recipe for growth. we have to do more to stabilize the finances over the medium and
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long-term, and also spur more growth in the short term. i have said i am hoping to making modest adjustments to programs like medicare to protect them for future generations. i also said we need more revenue for tax reform by closing loopholes for the wealthiest americans. if we combine a balanced package of savings from spending on health care and revenues from closing loopholes, we consult the deficit issue without sacrificing our investments in things like education that are going to help us grow. it turns out the american people agree with me. they listened to an entire year's debate over this issue, and they made a clear decision about the approach they prefer. they do not think it is fair to ask a senior to pay more for his or her health care or a scientist to shut down like that saving research so that a multi millionaire investor can take less in tax rates then a second trip -- and a secretary. they do not think it is smart to protect and as corporate loopholes and tax breaks for the wealthiest americans rather than rebuild roads and schools or help manufacturers bring jobs back to america. they want us to get our books in order in a balanced way where everyone pulls their weight, everyone does their part. that is what i want as well. that is what i have proposed. we can get it done, but we're going to have to make sure people are looking at this irresponsible way, rather than just through the lens of politics. the other congressional-imposed thing coming up is a debt ceiling, something americans have not heard of before two years ago. the debt ceiling is not a question of authorizing more spending. raising the debt ceiling does not authorize more spending. it simply allows the country to pay for spending that congress has already committed to.
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these are bills that have party been racked up, and we need to pay them. so while i am willing to compromise and find common ground for how to reduce the deficits, america cannot afford another debate with this congress about whether or not they should pay the bills they have already racked up. if congressional republicans refuse to pay america's bills on time, social security checks, veterans benefits will be delayed. we might not be able to pay our troops or honor our contracts with small-business owners. food inspectors, air traffic controllers, specialists who track down loose nuclear materials would not get their paychecks. investors around the world will ask if the united states of america is in fact a safe bet. markets could go haywire. interest rates would spike for anyone who borrowed money. every homeowner with a mortgage, every student with the business -- every student with the student loan. it would be a self-inflected wounds on the economy. it would slow down our growth. it might put us into a recession, and ironically, would probably increase the deficit. to even entertain the idea of this happening, of the united states of america not paying its bills is irresponsible. it is absurd. as the speaker said two years ago, it would be, and i am quoting the speaker, it would be a financial disaster not only for us, but the worldwide economy. so we have to pay our bills. republicans in congress can act responsibly and pay america's bills, or they can act irresponsibly and put america
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through another economic crisis. but they will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the american economy. the financial well-being of the american people is not leverage to be used. the full faith and credit of the united states of america is not a bargaining chip. and they better choose quickly, because time is running out. the last time republicans in congress even flirted with the idea are triple a credit rating was downgraded for the first time in history. businesses created fewer jobs than any month in nearly the past three years, and erotically, aholt fiasco added to the deficit. so it should not be surprising, given all the talk, the it the american people think washington is hurting rather than helping the country at the moment. they see their representatives concerned over paying the bills while they overwhelmingly want to focus on growing the economy and creating more jobs. so let's finish this debate and give it businesses and the world the certainty our economy and reputation are still second to none of.
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we pay our bills. we handle our business, and then we can move on, because america has a lot to do. we have to create more jobs, boost the wages of those that have worked and reached for energy independence, reformed immigration system. we have to give our children the best education possible and do everything we can to protect them from the horrors of gun violence. i am grateful to vice president biden for his work on this issue of gun violence and for his proposals, which i will review
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later today and address in the next few days and intend to vigorously review. with that, i will take some questions. i will start with julie pace of ap and want to congratulate her for this new, important job. >> i wanted to ask about gun violence. today marks the one month anniversary of the shooting, which seemed to generate momentum for the assault weapons ban. there has been at fresh opposition from the nra and even harry reid questions whether it can pass congress. how hard would you push for assault weapons ban, and if one cannot pass congress, what other measures would need to be included in a broad package in order to probe of gun violence successfully. >> the vice-president and a number of members of my cabinet went through a very thorough process over the past month,
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meeting with a lot of stakeholders, including the nra. listened to proposals from all quarters, and they have presented me now with a list of sensible, common-sense steps that can be taken to make sure the violence we saw a new town does not happen again. i will meet with the vice- president today. i expect to have a fuller presentation later in the week to give people some specifics about what i think we need to do.
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my starting point is not to worry about the politics. my starting point is to focus on what makes sense, what works. what should we be doing to make sure that our children are safe, that we are reducing the incidence of gun violence? i think we can do that in a sensible way that comports with the second amendment. and that members of congress, i think, will have to have a debate and examine their own conscience. if in fact, and i believe this is true, everyone is as deeply moved and saddened as i was by what happened, then we are going to have to vote based on what we think is best. we will have to come up with a answers that set politics aside. that is what i expect congress to do. what you can count on is the things i have set in the past, the bleak for stronger background checks, that we can do a much better jobs -- much better job in terms of keeping the magazine clips with high- capacity out of the hands of folks who should not have them, and assault weapons ban that is meaningful, those are things i continue to believe make sense. will all of them get through this congress? i do not know.
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what is uppermost in my mind is making sure i am honest with the american people and members of congress about what i think will work off, what i think is something that will make a difference, and to repeat what i said earlier, if there is a step we can take that will save even one child from what happened in newtown, should take that step. i will present the details later in the week. jackpot, nbc. -- chuck todd, nbc. >> as a know the senate democrat, harry reid, sent you a letter thanking you to consider some sort of executive action. just this morning one of the house democratic leaders ask you to use the 14th amendment, and even said sometimes that is what it takes. he brought up the emancipation proclamation, and he compared the debt ceiling to that. are you considering this?
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and if not, why not? >> well, chuck, the issue here is whether or not america pays its bills. we are not a dead beat nation. so there is a very simple solution to all of this. congress authorizes us to pay our bills. now, if the house and senate want to give me authority so they do not have to take these tough votes, if they want to put the responsibility on me to raise the debt ceiling, i am happy to take it. mitch mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate, had a proposal like that last year, and i am happy to accept that, but they want to keep the responsibility, they need to go ahead and get it done. there are no magic tricks. there are no loopholes. there are no easy out. this is a matter of congress authorizes spending. they tell me you need to fund
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the defense department as such and such level. you need to send out social security checks. you need to make sure you are paying to care for the veterans. they lay all of this out for me. because they have the spending power. i am required by law to go ahead and pay the bills. separately, they also have to authorize the raising of the debt ceiling to make sure the bills are paid. so what congress cannot do is tell me to spend x then save but we will not give you the authority to pay the bills. i just want to repeat, because i think sometimes the american
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people understandably are not following all of the debate here in washington. raising the debt ceiling does not authorize us to spend more. all it does is say that america will pay its bills. we are not a dead beat nation. the consequences of us not paying our bills, as i outlined in the opening statement, would be disastrous. i understand the impulse to get around this in a simple way. but there is one way to get around this, and that is for congress to authorize me to pay for the items of spending they have already authorized. the notion that republicans in the house or maybe republicans in the senate would suggest that for in order -- that for an order for us to get our way on spending priorities, that we would risk the full faith and credit of the united states, that i think is not what the founders intended.
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it is not how most americans think the democracy should work. they have a point of view. democrats in congress have a point of view. they need to sit down and work out a compromise. >> [inaudible]
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looks >> , -- >> look, chuch there's ak produce, straightforward way of doing this, and that is to set the debt ceiling aside, pay the bills, and then have a vigorous debate about how we will do further deficit reduction in a balanced way. keep in mind that what we have heard from some republicans in both the house and senate is
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they will only increase the debt ceiling by the amount of spending cuts that they are able to push through. in order to replace the automatic spending cuts and a sequester, 1.2 trillion, say it takes another trillion to get us through one more year, they would have to identify 2.5 trillion dollars in cuts just to get the debt ceiling extended to next year. 2.5 trillion. congress has not been able to identify 1.2 trillion and cuts their happy with. because the same republicans say they do not want to cut the fence. and they have claimed they do not want to gut medicare or harmed the vulnerable, but the truth of the matter is you cannot meet their own criteria without drastically cutting medicare or having an impact on medicaid or affecting the defense spending. the ma justth is not add up. here is what would work. -- the math test is not at about it adds up to.
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0.5 trillion dollars. the consensus is we need 4 trillion dollars to stabilize the debt, deficit. that means we need 1.5 trillion dollars more. the package i authorized to the speaker before the new year would achieve that. we were actually fairly close in terms of arriving at that number.
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so if the goal is to make sure we're being responsible about the debt and the deficit, it that if the conversation we're having, i am happy to have that conversation. by closing additional loopholes through tax reform, which the speaker has acknowledged can raise money in a sensible way, and by doing some additional cuts, including making sure we are reducing the health care spending, the main driver of the deficit, we can arrive at a package to get this thing done. i am happy to have that conversation. what i will not do is to have that that negotiation with a gun at the head of the american people, the threat that unless we get our way, unless you have medicare or medicaid or otherwise/things that the american people do not believe should be slashed that we will threatened to wreck the entire economy. that is not how historically this has been done and not the we're going to do it this time. what i am saying to you is there is no simpler solution, note ready, credible solution other than congress either give me the authority to raise the debt
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ceiling, or exercise the responsibility that they have kept for themselves and raise the debt ceiling, because this is about paying your bills. everyone here understands this. this is not a complicated concept. you do not go out to dinner and get what you want and noleave without paying the check. congress should think about the same way the american people do. if congress wants to have a debate about not going out to dinner next time,, maybe a modest restaurant, that is fine.
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that's a debate that we should have. but you don't say, in order for me to control my appetites, i'm going to not pay the people who already provided me services, people who already lent me the money. that's not showing any discipline. all that's doing is not meeting your obligations. you can't do that. and that's not a credible way to run this government. we've got to stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis, when there's this clear path ahead of us that simply requires some discipline, some responsibility and some compromise. that's where we need to go. that's how this needs to work. major garrett. >> thank you, mr. president. as you well know, sir, finding votes for the debt ceiling can
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sometimes be complicated. you, yourself, as a member of the senate, voted against a debt ceiling increase. and in previous aspects of american history -- president reagan in 1985, president george herbert walker bush in 1990, president clinton in 1997 -- all signed deficit reduction deals that were contingent upon or in the context of raising the debt ceiling. you, yourself, four times have done that. three times, those were related to deficit reduction or budget maneuvers. what chuck and i and i think many people are curious about is this new, adamant desire on your part not to negotiate, when that seems to conflict with the entire history in the modern era of american presidents and the debt ceiling, and your own history on the debt ceiling. and doesn't that suggest that we are going to go into a default situation because no one is talking to each other about how
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to resolve this? >> well, no, major, i think if you look at the history, getting votes for the debt ceiling is always difficult, and budgets in this town are always difficult. i went through this just last year. but what's different is we never saw a situation as we saw last year in which certain groups in congress took such an absolutist position that we came within a few days of defaulting. and the fact of the matter is, is that we have never seen the debt ceiling used in this fashion, where the notion was, you know what, we might default unless we get 100 percent of what we want. that hasn't happened. now, as i indicated before, i'm happy to have a conversation about how we reduce our deficits further in a sensible way. although one thing i want to point out is that the american people are also concerned about how we grow our economy, how we put people back to work, how we make sure that we finance our workers getting properly trained and our schools are giving our kids the education we deserve. there's a whole growth agenda which will reduce our deficits that's important as well. but what you've never seen is the notion that has been presented, so far at least, by the republicans that deficit reduction -- we'll only count spending cuts, that we will
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raise the deficit -- or the debt ceiling dollar for dollar on spending cuts. there are a whole set of rules that have been established that are impossible to meet without doing severe damage to the economy. and so what we're not going to do is put ourselves in a position where in order to pay for spending that we've already incurred, that our two options are we're either going to profoundly hurt the economy and hurt middle-class families and hurt seniors and hurt kids who are trying to go to college, or, alternatively, we're going to blow up the economy. we're not going to do that. >> -- open to a one-to-three- month extension to the debt
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ceiling -- whatever congress sends you, you're okay with it? >> no, not whatever congress sends me. they're going to have to send me something that's sensible. and we shouldn't be doing this -- >> -- and we shouldn't be doing this on a one to three-month timeframe. why would we do that? this is the united states of america, major. what, we can't manage our affairs in such a way that we pay our bills and we provide some certainty in terms of how we pay our bills? look, i don't think anybody would consider my position unreasonable here. i have -- >> but why does it presuppose the need to negotiate and talk about this on a daily basis? because if default is the biggest threat to the economy, why not talk about it -- >> major, i am happy to have a conversation about how we reduce our deficits. i'm not going to have a monthly or every-three-months conversation about whether or not we pay our bills. because that in and of itself does severe damage. even the threat of default hurts our economy. it's hurting our economy as we speak. we shouldn't be having that debate. if we want to have a conversation about how to reduce
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our deficit, let's have that. we've been having that for the last two years. we just had an entire campaign about it. and by the way, the american people agreed with me that we should reduce our deficits in a balanced way that also takes into account the need for us to grow this economy and put people back to work. and despite that conversation, and despite the election results, the position that's been taken on the part of some house republicans is that, "no, we've got to do it our way, and if we don't, we simply won't pay america's bills." well, that can't be a position that is sustainable over time. it's not one that's good for the economy now. bes certainly not going to the kind of precedent that i want to establish not just for my presidency, but for future presidents, even if it was on the other side. democrats don't like voting for the debt ceiling when a
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republican is president, and yet you -- but you never saw a situation in which democrats suggested somehow that we would go ahead and default if we didn't get 100 percent of our way. that's just not how it's supposed to work. jon karl. >> thank you, mr. president. on the issue of guns, given how difficult it will be -- some would say impossible -- to get any gun control measure passed through this congress, what are you willing or able to do, using the powers of your presidency, to act without congress? and i'd also like to know, what do you make of these long lines we're seeing at gun shows and gun stores all around the country? i mean, even in connecticut, applications for guns are up since the shooting in newtown. >> well, my understanding is the vice president is going to provide a range of steps that we can take to reduce gun violence.
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some of them will require legislation. some of them i can accomplish through executive action. and so i'll be reviewing those today. and as i said, i'll speak in more detail to what we're going to go ahead and propose later in the week. but i'm confident that there are some steps that we can take that don't require legislation and that are within my authority as president. and where you get a step that has the opportunity to reduce the possibility of gun violence then i want to go ahead and take it. q any idea of what kind of steps? >> any idea of what kind of steps? >> well, i think, for example, how we are gathering data, for example, on guns that fall into the hands of criminals, and how we track that more effectively -- there may be some steps that we can take administratively as opposed through legislation. as far as people lining up and purchasing more guns, i think that we've seen for some time now that those who oppose any common-sense gun control or gun
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safety measures have a pretty effective way of ginning up fear on the part of gun owners that somehow the federal government is about to take all your guns away. and there's probably an economic element to that. it obviously is good for business. but i think that those of us who look at this problem have repeatedly said that responsible gun owners, people who have a gun for protection, for hunting, for sportsmanship, they don't have anything to worry about. the issue here is not whether or not we believe in the second amendment. the issue is, are there some sensible steps that we can take to make sure that somebody like the individual in newtown can't walk into a school and gun down a bunch of children in a shockingly rapid fashion. and surely, we can do something about that. but part of the challenge that
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we confront is, is that even the slightest hint of some sensible, responsible legislation in this area fans this notion that somehow, here it comes and everybody's guns are going to be taken away. it's unfortunate, but that's the case.
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and if you look at over the first four years of my administration, we've tried to tighten up and enforce some of the laws that were already on the books. but it would be pretty hard to argue that somehow gun owners have had their rights infringed. >> so you think this is an irrational fear that's driving all these people to go and stock up -- >> excuse me? >> do you think this is an irrational fear -- >> well, as i said, i think it's a fear that's fanned by those who are worried about the possibility of any legislation getting out there. julianna goldman. >> thank you, mr. president. i just want to come back to the debt ceiling, because in the summer of 2011, you said that you wouldn't negotiate on the debt ceiling, and you did. last year, you said that you wouldn't extend any of the bush
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tax cuts for the wealthy, and you did. so as you say now that you're not going to negotiate on the debt ceiling this year, why should house republicans take that seriously and think that if we get to the one-minute-to- midnight scenario, that you're not going to back down? >> well, first of all, julianna, let's take the example of this year and the fiscal cliff. i didn't say that i would not have any conversations at all about extending the bush tax cuts. >> well, first of all, julianna, let's take the all, julianna, let's take the example of this year and the fiscal cliff. i didn't say that i would not have any conversations at all about extending the bush tax cuts. what i said was we weren't going to extend bush tax cuts for the wealthy -- and we didn't. now, you can argue that during the campaign i said -- i set the criteria for wealthy at $250,000 and we ended up being at $400,000. but the fact of the matter is millionaires, billionaires are paying significantly more in taxes, just as i said. so from the start, my concern was making sure that we had a tax code that was fair and that protected the middle class, and my biggest priority was making sure that middle-class taxes did not go up.
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the difference between this year and 2011 is the fact that we've already made $1.2 trillion in cuts. and at the time, i indicated that there were cuts that we could sensibly make that would not damage our economy, would not impede growth. i said at the time i think we should pair it up with revenue in order to have an overall balanced package. but my own budget reflected cuts in discretionary spending. my own budget reflected the cuts that needed to be made, and we've made those cuts. now, the challenge going forward is that we've now made some big cuts, and if we're going to do further deficit reduction, the only way to do it is in a
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balanced and responsible way. the alternative is for us to go ahead and cut commitments that we've made on things like medicare, or social security, or medicaid, and for us to fundamentally change commitments that we've made to make sure that seniors don't go into poverty, or that children who are disabled are properly cared for. for us to change that contract we've made with the american people rather than look at options like closing loopholes for corporations that they don't need, that points to a long- term trend in which we have fundamentally, i think,
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undermined what people expect out of this government -- which is that parties sit down, they negotiate, they compromise, but they also reflect the will of the american people, that you don't have one narrow faction that is able to simply dictate 100 percent of what they want all the time or otherwise threaten that we destroy the american economy. another way of putting it is we've got to break the habit of negotiating through crisis over and over again. and now is as good of a time as any, at the start of my second term, because if we continue down this path, then there's really no stopping the principle. i mean, literally -- even in divided government, even where we've got a democratic president and a democratic senate, that a small group in the house of representatives could simply say every two months, every three months, every six months, every year, we
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are going to more and more change the economy in ways that we prefer, despite strong objections of americans all across the country, or otherwise we're going to have america not pay its bills. and that is no way for us to do business. and by the way, i would make the same argument if it was a republican president and a republican senate and you had a handful of democrats who were suggesting that we are going to hijack the process and make sure that either we get our way 100 percent of the time, or otherwise we are going to default on america's obligations. >> -- line in the sand negotiating, how is that -- to the economy? >> no, no, look, what i've said is that i'm happy to have a conversation about deficit reduction -- >> so you technically are willing to negotiate? >> no, julianna, look, this is pretty straightforward. either congress pays its bills or it doesn't. now, if -- and they want to keep this responsibility, if john boehner and mitch mcconnell think that they can come up with a plan that somehow meets
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their criteria that they've set for why they will -- when they will raise the debt ceiling, they're free to go ahead and try. but the proposals that they've put forward in order to accomplish that -- only by cutting spending -- means cuts to things like medicare and education that the american people profoundly reject. now, if they think that they can get that through congress, then they're free to try. but i think that a better way of doing this is go ahead and say, we're going to pay our bills. the question now is how do we actually get our deficit in a manageable, sustainable way? and that's a conversation i'm happy to have. all right. matt spetalnick.
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>> thank you, sir. you've spoken extensively about the debt ceiling debate, but some republicans have further said that they're willing to allow a government shutdown to take place rather than put off deep spending cuts. are you prepared to allow the government to grind to a halt if you disagree with the spending cut proposals they put forth? and who do you think the american people would blame if that came to pass? >> well, ultimately, congress makes the decisions about whether or not we spend money and whether or not we keep this government open. and if the republicans in congress have made a decision that they want to shut down the government in order to get their way then they have the votes at least in the house of representatives, probably, to do that. i think that would be a mistake. i think it would be profoundly damaging to our economy.
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i think it would actually add to our deficit because it will impede growth. i think it's shortsighted. but they're elected representatives, and folks put them into those positions and they're going to have to make a decision about that. and i don't -- i suspect that the american people would blame all of washington for not being able to get its act together. but the larger issue here has to do with what is it that we're trying to accomplish. are we trying to reduce the deficit? because if we're trying to reduce the deficit, then we can shape a bipartisan plan to reduce the deficit. i mean, is that really our objective? our concern is that we're spending more than we take in, and if that's the case, then there's a way of balancing that out so that we take in more
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money in increasing revenue and we reduce spending. and there's a recipe for getting that done. and in the conversations that i had with speaker boehner before the end of the year, we came pretty close -- a few hundred billion dollars separating us when stretched over a 10-year period, that's not a lot. but it seems as if what's motivating and propelling at this point some of the house republicans is more than simply deficit reduction. they have a particular vision about what government should and should not do. so they are suspicious about government's commitments, for example, to make sure that seniors have decent health care as they get older. they have suspicions about social security. they have suspicions about whether government should make
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sure that kids in poverty are getting enough to eat, or whether we should be spending money on medical research. so they've got a particular view of what government should do and should be. and that view was rejected by the american people when it was debated during the presidential campaign. i think every poll that's out there indicates that the american people actually think our commitment to medicare or to education is really important, and that's something that we should look at as a last resort in terms of reducing the deficit, and it makes a lot more sense for us to close, for example, corporate loopholes before we go to putting a bigger burden on students or seniors. but if the house republicans disagree with that and they want to shut down the government to see if they can get their way on
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it, that's their prerogative. that's how the system is set up. it will damage our economy. the government is a big part of this economy, and it's interesting that a lot of times you have people who recognize that when it comes to defense spending -- some of the same folks who say we've got to cut spending, or complain that government jobs don't do anything, when it comes to that defense contractor in their district, they think, wow, this is a pretty important part of the economy in my district and we shouldn't stop spending on that. let's just make sure we're not spending on those other folks. >> -- find agreement with republicans on this and -- >> look, my hope is, is that common sense prevails. that's always my preference. and i think that would the preference of the american people, and that's what would
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be good for the economy. so let me just repeat: if the issue is deficit reduction, getting our deficits sustainable over time, getting our debt in a sustainable place, then democrats and republicans in congress will have a partner with me. we can achieve that, and we can achieve it fairly quickly. i mean, we know what the numbers are. we know what needs to be done. we know what a balanced approach would take. we've already done probably more than half of the deficit reduction we need to stabilize the debt and the deficit. there's probably been more pain and drama in getting there than we needed. and so finishing the job shouldn't be that difficult -- if everybody comes to the conversation with an open mind, and if we recognize that there are some things, like not paying our bills, that should be out of bounds. all right. i'm going to take one last question. jackie calmes. >> thank you, mr. president.
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>> yes. >> i'd like to ask you, now that you've reached the end of your first term, starting your second, about a couple of criticisms -- one that's longstanding, another more recent. the longstanding one seems to have become a truism of sorts that you're -- you and your staff are too insular, that you don't socialize enough. and the second, the more recent criticism is that your team taking shape isn't diverse -- isn't as diverse as it could be, or even was, in terms of getting additional voices, gender, race, ethnic diversity. so i'd like you to address both of those. >> sure. let me take the second one first. i'm very proud that in the first four years we had as diverse, if not more diverse, a white house and a cabinet than any in history. and i intend to continue that, because it turns out that when you look for the very best people, given the incredible diversity of this country,
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you're going to end up with a diverse staff and a diverse team. and that very diversity helps to create more effective policymaking and better decision-making for me, because it brings different perspectives to the table. so if you think about my first four years, the person who probably had the most influence on my foreign policy was a woman. the people who were in charge of moving forward my most important domestic initiative, health care, were women. the person in charge of our homeland security was a woman. my two appointments to the supreme court were women, and 50 percent of my white house staff were women. so i think people should expect that that record will be built upon during the next four years. now, what, i've made four appointments so far? and one women -- admittedly, a high-profile one -- is leaving
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the -- has already left the administration, and i have made a replacement. but i would just suggest that everybody kind of wait until they've seen all my appointments, who's in the white house staff and who's in my cabinet before they rush to judgment. >> --the big three. >> yes, but i guess what i'm saying, jackie, is that i think until you've seen what my overall team looks like, it's premature to assume that somehow we're going backwards. we're not going backwards, we're going forward. with respect to this "truism" about me not socializing enough and patting folks on the back and all that stuff, most people who know me know i'm a pretty friendly guy. [laughter]
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and i like a good party. [laughter] and the truth is that when i was in the senate, i had great relationships over there, and up until the point that i became president this was not an accusation that you heard very frequently. i think that really what's gone on in terms of some of the paralysis here in washington or difficulties in negotiations just have to do with some very stark differences in terms of policy, some very sharp differences in terms of where we stand on issues. and if you think about, let's say, myself and speaker boehner, i like speaker boehner personally, and when we went out and played golf we had a great time.
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but that didn't get a deal done in 2011. when i'm over here at the congressional picnic and folks are coming up and taking pictures with their family, i promise you, michelle and i are very nice to them and we have a wonderful time. [laughter] but it doesn't prevent them from going onto the floor of the house and blasting me for being a big-spending socialist. [laughter] and the reason that, in many cases, congress votes the way they do, or talks the way they talk, or takes positions in negotiations that they take doesn't have to do with me. it has to do with the imperatives that they feel in terms of their own politics -- right? they're worried about their district. they're worried about what's going on back home. i think there are a lot of
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republicans at this point that feel that given how much energy has been devoted in some of the media that's preferred by republican constituencies to demonize me, that it doesn't look real good socializing with me. charlie crist down in florida i think testifies to that. and i think a lot of folks say, well, if we look like we're being too cooperative or too chummy with the president that might cause us problems. that might be an excuse for us to get a challenge from somebody in a primary. so that tends to be the challenge. i promise you, we invite folks from congress over here all the time. and when they choose to come, i enjoy their company. sometimes they don't choose to come, and that has to do with the fact that i think they don't
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consider the optics useful for them politically. and, ultimately, the way we're going to get stuff done -- personal relationships are important, and obviously i can always do a better job, and the nice thing is, is that now that my girls are getting older, they don't want to spend that much time with me anyway, so i'll be probably calling around, looking for somebody to play cards with me or something, because i'm getting kind of lonely in this big house. [laughter] so maybe a whole bunch of members of the house republican caucus want to come over and socialize more. but my suspicion is getting the issues resolved that we just talked about, the big stuff --
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whether or not we get sensible laws passed to prevent gun violence, whether or not america is paying its bills, whether or not we get immigration reform done -- all that's going to be determined largely by where the respective parties stand on policy, and maybe most importantly, the attitude of the american people. if the american people feel strongly about these issues and they push hard, and they reward or don't reward members of congress with their votes, if they reject sort of uncompromising positions or sharp partisanship or always looking out for the next election, and they reward folks who are trying to find common ground, then i think you'll see behavior in congress change. and that will be true whether i'm the life of the party or a stick in the mud. thank you very much, everybody.
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>> david rutger has reaction to the final news conference of the president's first term. what was he trying to say to congress? >> he wanted to outline the perameters of the debate. he was wanting to define what the debt ceiling fight should or shouldn't be about. that is a shot at republicans who say they want deep spending cuts to grant the authority to the president to borrow more money. >> when will all of this come
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to a head? >>sometime in february or march. the treasury department says the measures they are using to make sure the country can pay its bills will expire sometime in february or march. what we deal with is -- technically, we should have passed the debt ceiling at the beginning of the year but we were able to extend the period and the treasury says -- at least by march, sometime in march, they will need authority from congress to borrow more money. >> how are republicans in congress reacting to the
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comments? >> republicasns in the house side are just getting into town and they will disappear for their political retreat. senate republicans are not scheduled to be in this week. i know from following twitter and following the reaction from speaker boehner and mitch mcconnell they didn't agree with his comments and expect to pass legislation on the hosuuse side and passing legislation for the debut ceiling and the spending issue, as they see it. >> is any of this complimented by tim geithner being eager to exit his post.
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>> this is about the president and what he wants. jack lewis is a former office of managment and budget director and he knows these issues. and they've been through this before in summer 2011. i don't think geithner's exit effects it either way. >> david trucker, of "roll call." thank you. >> mayor bloomberg spoke at john hopkins university and said congress is hampering golun control efforts by limiting information on gun crimes. he was joined by governor martin o'malley in this 45 minute event. >> one month to the hour after the horriffic massacre in
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newtown, the specter will weigh on washington -- in the past year there were 2,700 gun- related crimes in baltimore. in far too many quarters of the city, this is a tragic and all- too commonplace fact of life. gathered in a city that must deal daily with the toll of gun violence, the importantce canonot be understated. this takes place with a backdrop of stunted reform.
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we cannot have this be another exercise in futility. good ideas for gun policy reform are thought to be no match for the rivals of gun control legislation, even after the events of newtown. i do not believe we are as lavishly tethered to a national gun laws. despite a history of failed policy reform and kept half measures adopted, progress is possible. my optimism stems from two sources. first is that in other countries have adopted non- trivial policy changes in response to the violence that
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have improved public safety. it is true that jurisdictions like australia, they have not had constitutional guarantees protecting individual rights to bear arms but their constitutions are different from ours and gun culture is an alien concept. but there are lessons to be gleaned from the approaches these countries have taken in the wake of gun violence. we must learn from the experience of others. in recent decades there is no denying the sea change in public sentiment that is an undercurrent in public policy performs, with a drunk driving and and public intoxication. big tobacco prevented regulation
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-- until it happened. consider the civil rights act of 1964. it took johnson's legislative genius to overcome what seemed to be an unshakeable logjam. in our lifetimes we have served enough non-trivial change to impaire that the iron grip of these forces can be shattered and policy can progress. and the debate over the regulation of guns and the balance of civil obligation will command sustained attention from our political leadership, as lobbyists apply their cases. in this unruly mix, universities
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like ours will discharge a critical role in principled scaffolding for the debate. our scholars have investigated gun violence for the last two decades. we have produced national recognized research to curtail gun violence. we have accumulated a wealth of knowledge and we hope much of it will come to the floor the next few days. we have convened scholars and advocates and want to sue this opportunity to cut through the din of the shrill and incendiary
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by identifying specific recommendations that evidence- based analysis will work and can be rendered congruent with our legal institutions. any change depends on the alchemy of ideas and true political strategies and in a gun policy debate -- with so many other issues there has been no more effective leader than the namesake of this school, john hopkins graduate michael bloomberg. [applause] mayor bloomberg conveined the first subject -- with the agenda
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-- to crack down on legal guns with every tool at their disposal. he concluded, if congress won't take the lead, we have to, and he has. in the seven years since, he's made the removal of such weapons in new york his focus. with 800 municipal leaders of all stripes and nearly a million folloerwers and he is focused on the reasonable restrictions to make the greatest difference for public safety. the mayor may comprise a source for my optimism. in public health issue after issue he has shown courage, stamina, and innovation for life-saving policy changes.
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his commitment is absolute. i would not want to find myself on the opposite side of an issue to which he has placed his skills. he will speak in a moment. but first i would like to welcome to the podium, governor martin o'malley. a former mayor of this great city and supporter of john hopkins and smart, data-driven efforts. violent crime has fallen 24% since he was elected in 2006. state officials have participated actively in task forces and other partnerships in baltimore. the state created tools for community supervision to
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prevent violent crime and relevant information with virginia, dc, delaware, and pennsylvania. and he has spoekken out to prohibit assault weapons and the assembly will ban such guns in the next session. sessions started last wednesday so i know the governor has a few things on his plate. his decision is a reflection of the deep he has to this cause. governor o'malley, welcome back to john hopkins university. >> thanks you, my honor. [applause] >> thank you for the amazing
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work that goes on here in so realms and it is great to be here and play warm-up act to mayor bloomberg. a proud alumnist -- few of your sons have done so much as mayor bloomberg has. he's been a great friend to the city of baltimore. towere here tthis past april dedicate the charlotte bloomberg center, named for his mother. one of the most handsome new buildings in baltimore as i drive by. a great american said no citizen feared ton whose citizens walk the streets was healthy.
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there is a sickness here and that sickness is gun violence. it is fitting we are at the bloomberg school. gun violence is a health issue. it is about the health of our schools and school children. he is an effective, results- oriented mayors, one of the most to control the program -- launching the most affordable housing initiative. anything in new york can be considered the largest initiative.
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nd also, fighting crime -- the people of new york showed totimroe it iore it is possible have a better tomorrow. and we can save lives and if you saved one life it is like you saved the entire world. mayor bloomberg is not partisan, he is about pulling people together to do the practical things that work. and this is what it takes to be an effective mayor. and there is no democratic or republican way to pick up the trash and keep the alleys clena. you -- clean.
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you bring people together to see measurable results. the results we'll see are lives will be saved. this is his driving argument with preventing gun violence. this is not an easy issue for many elected figures. the mayor chose to set up again and again, bringing other like- minded mayors together. and he did so consistently and his leadership matters now. in colorado and wisconsin and in connecticut, there is a larger envelope to put together common sense things to pevent violence thatun has taken too many lives from
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us. we believe this issue is of paramount importance and there is no more important responsibility any government has than protecting its citizens. over a 10-year period of time, two of the three cities in america which drove down violent crime have been new york, and also just behind new york, has been baltimore. new york was number two, baltimore was three. so preventing violent crime, keeping assault weapons from the hands of disturbed people -- these are not barometric pressures or weather forces, brought about by the gulf stream.
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these are human problems. mayor, you will be pleased to hear in maryland we are taking up this issue again and i do believe we shall have success. later this week we will have a comprehensive package that not only looks at licensing of weapons, but also, schools. we will look at health and mental health, joined by josh harsteen, the commissioner of health and mental hygeine and the superintendent of state ant of state police. this will address gun violence, guns and school safety. briefly, it will ban military assault weapons that have no
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place on the streets of baltimore and limits magazines to prevent criminals from gunning down police or schoolchildren. and a common sense licensing requirement for hunters and sportsmen, with real substancive sharingorms with data and investments in better treatment and a new center for excellence for serious mental illness so we can utilize early intervention strategies and it will invest in the schools to improve the safety of their facilities. so many of us visit schools and with the primary mission the
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educaitotional mission, there is a wide spectrum when it comes to the safeguards in pace, with doors locked and visitors stepped in and we will have a fund in the capital schools budget. one of a dozen states investing in school construction. we will be creating a maryland center for school safety to bring together law enforcement -- to have better advice for school officials to better safeguard our schools. in conclusion as i introduce our accomplished guest. neither mayor bloomberg or myself in maryland want to ban
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all guns. we know it makes no sense twhen you look at the level of carnage on the streets from guns to blame every factor but guns. if we're going to have a comprehensive approach, let us be comprehensive, including looking at the licensing requirement for guns. we need a comprehensive approach to put the focus on the practical, common-sense things we can do to save lives. perhaps there is no way to prevent the next newtown tragedy. but then again, perhaps there is. none of us can predict the future. noene of us can assess the
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value of prevented programs to keep another tragedy from happening. but every life is valuable so our inability to predict the future and pinpoint the value of preventative action can prevent us from doing common sense things that can work. so -- this is not about ideology. it is about human dignity and the dignity of every individual life. the dignity of every person in the united states of america. i introduce michael bloomberg of the great city of new york.
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[applause] >> thank you. >> governor, thank you for rearranging your schedule. the governor has been a storng leader on gun violence. i met him when he was mayor of this great city. as governor now -- he is doing the same thing for the people of maryland. maryland is a state with an urban, suburban, and rural part, with concerns for public health, public safety, economics, and something that is valuable -- it has a great governor, and i've been a fan of gov. o'malley for some time and
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want to thank you for your support of johns hopkins. it is a great asset to the country. and you and your elected officials deserve a great deal of credit for recognizing it. it is deeply appreciated and i hope we've paid it back. we have the best minds on gun violence, and when you kick it off -- he didn't have to ask twice.
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it is clear that we meet today at a critical and hopeful moment, one month ago, on december 14, a deranged young man pulled into the parking lot of the sandy hook elementary schol anol and shot his way in h a semi-automatic rifle and the slaughter of six adults and 27 children -- this is the straw that has broken the camel's back. more than 100 mayors have joined artizan coalition -- bringing the total mayors involved over 800.
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and more than a million are in the i demand a plan campaign against gun violence. biden will announce his recommendation -- and he knows as horriffic as sandy hook has isodes of he epsiode mass violence, we experience that across the country. year, 33rday of the americans are killed with guns. president obama will take the oath of office, and during those 0our years, some 4800
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americans will be killed with guns. twice as many people as were killed in combat in the vietnam war. i have made it clear our has threesan coalition requiring legislation and four calling for executive action and i hope they will support all seven. first and most urgently -- we need the presidenet and congress congress to require background checks at gun sales and online. private sales account for 40% of gun sales nationally. there were more than 6 million gun sales that happened with no background checks.
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many of these are handguns, used in 90% of all firearms murders. across the united states, 80% or ofgun owners and 90% americans require gubackground checks for gun sales. we have laws on the books requiring background checks when dealers sell guns. it is time for the president and congress to make this the law of the land. 40% that the law does not apply to is a sham. and congress should make gun trafficking a federal crime. 80% of the guns we find at crime scenes are from out of state but laws preventing guns across
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borders are weak. criminals who traffick get a slap on the wrist. we have ennacted tough gun laws and enforce them. citizens killed by guns come from another state and every state is powerless to stop the mayhem. guns will continue flowing through our streets for states with looser gun laws. the third measure is limiting the availablity of military- style weapons and high magazines. these are not designed for sport or home defense. this is designed to kill large numbers of people quickly. they belong on the battlefield,
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in the hands of our professionally trained soldiers. not in our suburbs and military areas, as colin powell and stanley mcchrystal have said. this was banned under the federal assault weapons law that expired in 2004 and it was initiated and passed by joe biden. he is the right person to come up with what we do next. regulating assault weapons falls in the bounds of the second ammendment. this is a question of political courage. the supreme court, which defines what the constitution means and says, states that reasonable considerations are part of the
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second amendment. when the gun lobby raises the second amendment, it is a red herring. it is time to call them on it. hthithis is background checks, making gun trafficking a crime, and limiting magazines, requires leadership from congress and the president. but there are other steps he may take without professional approval. vice president biden understands this and we hope his recommendations include these four steps. he can call for all agencies to submit data tehhey have to the background database. every bit of data -- is a murder
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in the making. gun sales can go ahead in cases were we all agree they shouldn't. second, the president can direct the justice department to prosecute convicted criminals who provide false personal information during background checks. even criminals go to buy dealers where they know there is a background check. during 2010 there were 7600 cases refereed to the justice department. do you know how many were prosecuted? 44. not 44,000. 544 out of 76,000.
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this is a sad joke and a lethal joke. these are felony cases involving criminals trying to buy guns. but our government is ofsecuting less than 7 % them. the president can do it by picking up the phone and saying -- this is your job. go do it or i'll get someone who will. the president can make a recess appointment -- and the atf hasn't had a directive for six years. can you imagine how much outrage there'd be without a homeland security secretary? this is as much a public safety threat it would be if there
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wasn't a secretary of homeland security. all the presidnet has to do is make a recess appointment. it is easy and has been done many times. you can't have an agency without someone running it. that job is to protect everyone in the room -- including those we love the most. the police officers who run into danger while the rest of us run the other way. if congress says -- don't tell the public what is killing our kids and police officers, would you have a problem with that? the president can stop support the teahart order, a congressman from wichita t
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who passed a way to keep the public in the dark about gun traffickers and how they operate. at the bidding of the gun lobby, congress tied the hands of the atf and prevented them from changing laws -- and they are not alone in being gagged by congress. our coalition of mayors against illegal guns releases a report called "access denied." detailing how congress has denied the american people access to information about guns and gun violence. congress has restricted the scientists at the center for
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disease control from studying the epidemic of gun violence and similar restrictions at the national institutes of health. congress has no business saying what health issues they can and should study. the truth shall make you free. when elected officials try to bury the truth and they make our society less safe. out of the annual budget of nearly six billion dollars -- the national institute of health is estimated to spend less than $1 million on firearm injury research out of a budget of
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$31 billion. they spend $28 million on headaches, and less than a million on the gun violence. and if that doesn't give you a headache, it should. there are 38,000 gun deaths a year, and many of them are suicides. some of them are children. in new york city, i'm pleased to say our suicide rate is less than half the natural average. one difference is we have tough gun laws. 51% of suicides, nationally, are by gun. in new york city, it is 16% of
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the suicides. the gun lobby says someone who wants to kill him or herself will find ways to do it. in many cases they are tragically wrong. we can prevent thousands of suicides with gun regulations. unfortunately, american scientists are not the only ones congress attempted to silence. congress included langauge iuaga fudninnding bill to prevent menl health councellors to prevent firearm discussions with armed forces -- there is a suicide crisis among our military
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overseas. there is an all-volunteer army and they come back and many do have a problem. congress, instead of trying to help, is doing everything they can to make it worse. our men and women are trying to make it better. we asked to rescind this prohibition but they did. and only after too many men and women in uniform took their lives with guns. it is time to put public health above special interest politics. it is time to stop gagging our law enforcement officers and stop trying to hide the truth from the american people.
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thiss this very thing that ou conference is being held -- and so much work is being done in malaria research and health, and it is all designed to protect health and save lives. millions at a time. reducing reducing gun violence will have that effect. i want to thank the directors for the school center of gun research for hosting this conference. a few years ago, dr. webster conducted a study of an initiative we undertook in new york city identifying the most problematic, out-of-state gun dealers based on crime data conducting undercover operations of their sales practices and suing those that sold guns to straw purchasers
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who are those who lie about who is the actual purchaser of the gun and stand in for somebody who could not pass a background check. 24 of the most problematic dealers settled or were put under a court monitor. and dr. webster found that in new york city, the likelihood of recovering a gun at a crime scene from one of these dealers almost overnight dropped by 84%. 99% of the gun dealers in our country do obey the law. 1% don't. and those are the once we have to go of after and the results are dramatic and almost instantaneous. our investigation never would have happened without the data that allowed us to identify the problematic dealers. and yet if it were up to the n.r.a., we'd never have access to it and more guns would have flowed on to our streets and in all likelihood, more people would have been murdered.
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the undercover investigations we conducted were just one example of how we work to crack down on gun violence. at our urging in new york, our state legislator enacted the toughest penalties in the nation for illegal possession of a handgun, a 3 1/2 year mandatory minimum prison sentence. we also worked with our city council to adopt a law enabling the nypd to keep tabs on gun offenders in our city just as they track sex offenders. we enforce those laws and other laws rigorously and that's a big reason why new york is the safest big city in the country. in the year that just ended, new york city had the fewest murders in nearly half a century, where comparable records started to be kept in 1963, we never had a year remotely as safe as the year we just had. as hard as we worked, however, and as much as we achieved, the reality remains in new york during 2002 there were 418
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murder in new york city and a lot of the people killed were kids. while shooting incidents are down in new york city as well as murders, i can tell you that on the thursday night last, i visited three nypd officers who had been shot by criminals in two separate incidents. thankfully the officers are all expected to fully recover. but i think that night really does demonstrate a flaw in the argument we've heard lately. the argument is the solution to bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. the problem is that sometimes the good guys get shot. sometimes, in fact, they get killed. and i think the hardest part of my job, the part that i dread the most as mayor is talking to the family of a police officer at a hospital to tell them that
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their husband, wife, mother, father, son or daughter won't ever be coming home again. the tragic fact is that across america today, fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, friends and neighbors will experience that kind of pain and loss in their lives because of gun violence as well. the rate of firearms homicide in america is 20 times higher than it is in other economically advanced nations. we have got to change that. and it has to start this week with real leadership from the white house. so if you haven't done so, go to demandaplan.org and join our campaign for gun safety reform and call your senators and congressmen from the great state of maryland and say, you know, we're not going to take this. and even if you vote the right way, your associates in congress aren't voting the right way. and since i don't get a chance to influence them, but you want
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my vote, you do something about it. it is your responsibility to do it as much as it is the responsibility of the other senators and the other congressmen. so thank you for coming to this conference. your work here really is in the great tradition of your host. the best public health school in the nation. if you pardon me and prevent me to say that. let us hope it gets the attention that washington needs to pay it. this is one of the real big differences between what we have today and a safe, great future for our kids. thank you and god bless. [applause] . [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national
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cable satellite corps 2013] >> in a few moments a forum on gun violence prevention hosted by democratic representative mike thompson from california. in a little less than three hours, president obama's news conference focusing on the debt ceiling and preventing gun violence. after that we'll reair the comments of mayor michael bloomberg on reducing gun violence. on "washington journal" tomorrow morning our guests will include representative scott rigell a member of the armed services and budget committees. he'll talk about a letter by his colleagues making a case for more revenue. we'll discuss the new congress with matthew cartwright, a member of the oversight and
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government reform committee. "washington journal "so i live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> we'll have several live events tomorrow morning. the national council for silence and the environment host as forum on the disasters and environment. after remarks by fema director craig fugate, the lessons will focus on hurricane katrina, the ongoing drought and earthquake in japan on c-span 3 at 8:30 eastern. on c-span 2 at 9:00 a.m. eastern, a brookings institution conference on innovation and the economy. panelists in the day long event are scheduled to include the presidents and c.e.o.'s of alcoa, procter & gamble and nike. >> he had been talking about this dream he'd had. he talked about it for years, the american dream, and that it had become his dream and he had been in detroit just a few months before and he had talked about, you know, i have a dream
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that america will some day realize these principles and the declaration of independence. so i think he was just inspired by that moment. >> sunday on "after words" clayborn carson recalls his journey as a civil rights activist participating in the march on washington. it's part of three days of book tv this weekend, monday, featuring authors and books on the inauguration, president obama and martin luther king jr. >> representative mike thompson of california chairs a democratic task force that's examining gun violence. one of the group's public meetings was last week in santa rosa, california and congressman thompson was joined by mental health and education officials. this is a little less than three hours. >> i do have the pleasure of introducing congressman mike
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thompson. he was first elected to the united states congress in 1998. mike serves on the subcommittee on health and subcommittee on select revenue measures within the committee on ways and means as well as being the ranking member of the subcommittee on terrorism, human intelligence, analysis and counterintelligence and the subcommittee on oversight all within the permanent select committee on intelligence. congressman thompson is a combat veteran. he was a staff sergeant platoon leader in vietnam with the 173rd airborne of the united states army. he also was a purple heart recipient. mike has a reputation for problem solving, for reaching across the aisle. he's been a great asset for the county of sonoma and we thank him very much. mike is also a gun owner and avid hunter, i understand. i can think truly no one better suited to serve as chair for the congressional gun violence prevention task force. congressman, thank you very much for all your work and welcome. >> mr. chairman, thank you.
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[applause] >> thank you very much. and thank you all for coming out tonight. this is the third town hall meeting on our effort to prevent gun violence. and input from the public is extremely important, so i am honored you took time to come out tonight and share your constructive ideas with how we can accomplish this. i just can't emphasize how important it is. and as everyone knows, emotions got extremely high, motivation and constituent input to do something about gun violence hit an all-time peak after the terrible, terrible tragedy in connecticut. there's no question that that's the worst gun tragedy that i've ever seen in my life. and i can understand why people and communities are upset and why they're concerned and why they want something done about it. but i also want to caution
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folks that there is no one bill that can be passed. there's not one magic wand that can be waved that can guarantee that we never have problems like that. and we can't move forward by judging our efforts on the last tragedy. and as bad as that was, as bad as that was, gun violence is with us every day. we see it most often when it's a huge, huge tragedy such as connecticut. but the truth is, since that connecticut tragedy, there's been over 800 people killed with firearms in our country. and the american people have said loud and clear they want something done about it. i've been appointed to chair a task force to try and do something about it. as chairman rabid said i'm a gun owner, a combat veteran, i'm a hunter. i understand guns and i
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understand that the only way we can do it is it we all come together, we all are at the table and everything is on the table. that's the only way we're going to be able to forge a solution that works to that sure our community is safer than today. i'm looking forward to your constructive comments as to ideas you might have on how we can accomplish that. i wanted right up front to state clearly and succinctly, this is not a listening session or a hearing on the second amendment. that issue is not what we're talking about. the second amendment is guaranteed in the constitution of the united states of america. and when the court ruled, when the u.s. supreme court ruled in the heller decision, they took this away from the argument. no longer can folks on one side say we can own any gun we want
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and no longer can folks on the other side say this only pertains to a militia. the court was real clear. u.s. citizens have a right to own firearms. period. now, government entities have a right to pass regulation and laws pertaining to those firearms, but americans have a right to own firearms. so please remember that. and i think if we do, that will help us get through all the speakers, giving everybody time to talk. there's an old saying in congress that everything's been said but everybody hasn't yet said it. i don't think we have to do that. i think if you're not redundant, it will give everybody time to talk and maybe we can have some good ideas out there in order to help forge a solution. we're in pretty good shape tonight on our panel. we've got some real experts here. i'm going to ask each one of them to make some brief opening
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comments, and they're here to clarify any issues. and more important, like me, they're here to listen to any ideas that may come about. so first, i'll start with mike kennedy, sonoma department health services, mental health division. >> thank you. so the comments i would like to make focus on that we know that for mental health, people with -- individuals that have mental health, either issues and also serious mental health issues, our goal, and i think a lot of folks know that in california with the mental health service act, our goal has been really to intervene earlier, provide better access, and link people to treatment. and we believe that that would help things in general. one of the things i wanted to talk about is we, through the
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mental health service act in this down in the last couple years have implemented one new program that i think is worth mentioning, and it's called our crisis assessment prevention and education team. and it focuses on a partnership with the community college, san jose community college, and about nine high schools, the two high schools, and all the city high schools. we have a county team, a licensed staff and psychiatrist that are available and go to schools to do assessles. we actual -- do assessments. we actually sit on the crisis team at the community college so that we can talk together. since we're a part of their health center, we're able to exchange information and we're actually able to then link students with mental health issues directly to services. in the last year and a half, we've been able to hospitalize
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about 10 young people, get them stabilized and then they're able to stay in school. we work also at the high schools. we work in tandem with some of santa rosa's resource officers, with the assistant principals, and we're available to go out, do assessments. the second part of it, though, is what we found is a lot of teachers, family members were saying to us, you know, we saw some issues, we just didn't really know what to do. the other thing that this team provides to all those settings is something we call q.p.r. which is question, persuade, refer. it's an evidence-based model that teaches individuals the signs of mental illness, depression, suicide, and then what questions to ask, how to persuade somebody to get help, and then how to actually access help. and that would be to bring the team out there.
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it's been so successful at the schools that anna lee and several other schools are training incoming freshmen, the whole classes to the program, plus the teachers, and really gives us the ability to do aggressive outreach and then target young people really between the ages of 16 and the mid 20's that are either having first psychotic breaks are serious mental illness. it's one of the programs that i think is extremely effective and could help and prevent some of these things. >> thank you. next sheriff fratus. >> good evening. first i'd like to thank congressman thompson for inviting me to be on this panel and thank all of you for taking the time to come out and give us your thoughts. i'm appreciative to see this large crowd and people would take their time out of their schedule to talk to us.
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i'm primarily interested in listening to people's ideas, whether it be here or locally or at the state level. one thing from an enforcement standpoint i'd just like to mention that maybe we can accomplish through this process would be many of us in laurment, and i talked to many of -- in law enforcement, and i talked to many of my chiefs in sonoma county, we feel the gun laws are confusing, quite frankly, many of them. it's hard to enforce the laws from the street level enforcement aspect because the laws are hard to interpret and understand. if it's hard for us, then it must be hard for the public. we'd like to see the law simplified to some extent and then enforced. other than that, i'll be happy to listen to what people have to say tonight. thank you for having me. >> next is district attorney jill ravich. >> thank you. it's a pleasure to be here tonight and particularly a pleasure because the subject is gun violence prevention. unfortunately, my experience is in the aftermath of gun violence. my job is all about dealing with what happens after the
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carnage, dealing with victims, trying to figure out the proper way of dealing with the offenders. and i would really like to lose that opportunity through prevention. i'm excited to hear what mike kennedy is doing with mental health here. i think that one of the results of that tragedy in connecticut was it got us talking about mental illness and what we can do better as a community to deal with mental illness problems and integrate those individuals into our community and provide services. like the sheriff and others here, i'm here to listen. i'm here to look for better solutions and ultimately, i'm here to find better ways to prevent gun violence. thank you. >> thank you. next dr. steve harrington, superintendent, sonoma county schools. >> thank you. i'm also here on behalf of the professional teaching community . and before i make my opening comments, on behalf of the teachers in sonoma county, we wish to honor and express our
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respect for the students, teachers, administrators, and psychologists who lost their lives at sandy hook elementary school on december 14, 2012. we remember these young children who died too soon. we take our role to educate the students in sonoma county schools seriously. and i know that all school employees are especially atuned to this issue of school safety and student well-being following this horrific incident. the educators who sacrificed their life at sandy hook did so because they were committed to create a better world through teaching. let us keep their memories alive through our own and their own dedicated work in the sonoma county schools. our students are the hope and the promise for the future. as the county superintendent, i wish to reassure you that every one of our schools within sonoma county have current and on file school safety plans. many of our schools have cooperative policing agreements for school resource officers at
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the secondary level 9-12. every k-8 school conducts safety drills once a month. every high school conducts a quarterly drill each year. of those drills, two must be at least lockdown and two must be earthquake. as resources are available to schools, we are required to retrofit and redesign our campuses through the post-columbine design requirements that came out of that terrible incident. the teaching professionals and administrators and school classified employees who work diligently with the school boards and community wish to provide safe campuses for every child, but we also are aware that we can increase the safety by reducing the risks. and that's why i am here tonight, to listen to the ways we can reduce the risks to our children and to our teachers. most of our campuses are not designed as well as the school at sandy hook.
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that was a self-contained school that was -- that did not have the open patio effect the california schools do. so we have a little more difficult situation in securing our schools for lockdown. but one of the good things about our community is that under proposition 63 which you passed a few years ago, we were able to initiate a program for mental health that was just expressed to you. so i think it's in our community's interest to know what we're doing and i hope more of these results will be shared with the total community. thank you. >> thanks very much. then next is special agent blake graham with the state department of justice who probably should get a pin for being here for three of these in a row. >> thank you, sir. good evening, everyone. i'm here to talk about two different programs that the california department of justice is involved in regarding firearms. the first of which i'll talk about our background checks. the department of justice, speps the bureau of firearms,
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cuggets the background checks for the state. we query many different data basis, restraining order systems, warrants, criminal history, mental health system. we check for convictions in state, out of state, and various other federal systems as well. two years ago, 2011 we did 6,101 background checks. in 2012 we about 812,000. so far this year, as of yesterday, we did about 27,000. already. so there's been a big spike lately in the number of background checks. the other side of that is the people that are denied consistently, it's about 1.1% of those that apply to buy a gun. and that's held out over many years. those people that purchase guns
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lawfully sometimes become prohibited later. that leads to the second program i'm going to talk about real briefly called the armed prohibited person system. those people that, again, at one point purchased a gun, they can at some point become prohibited through a mistake of their own legally, it may be a mental health issue, things like that. currently there are about 18,000, 19,000 people, depending on the day, it fluctuates, that are in our system, this armed prohibative person system that have a hoe i had bigs of some kind and have $38,000, 39,000 weapons appropriated to them statewide. we have teams out just about every day of the week. there are only 33 agents in the state that attempt to contact these people. we're small but doing what we can. there are teams out tonight in different parts of the state.
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i think that's probably all i have. >> of the 39,000 guns in the possession of people who are prohibited from owning guns, those are only handguns and assault weapons, correct? >> correct. those are the weapons we're allowed to track, handguns and registered assault weapons. >> the reality is there could be a lot more than that? >> correct. >> they could have long guns. >> generally when we seize weapons we'll seize a few of the ones we know about and others that are generally rifles and shotguns not in our systems currently. >> thank you. as you can tell by the panel, this is a very, very complex issue. gun violence prevention. and it crosses many disciplines. it deals with mental health. it deals with education. it deals with background checks. it deals with the guns and the accessories themselves as well as a culture of violence that also is very, very difficult. i think the second amendment stuff is tough, try the first.
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we've got a lot of work cut out for us. so if you have ideas, we want to hear from them. how are we doing this, jim? >> thank you, congressmen. folks who wanted to speak fill out a speaker card and hand them to the staff in the front. then everyone will have a minute and a half. if you look to your left, there is a traffic signal there, green means you have plenty of time. yellow means you have 30 second and at red your time is up and it will beep. we'll try to remind you when you're done. thank you very much. >> thank you. and you're going to call five at a time, cheryl? >> i am. i'm going to call five at a time. and before the sixth speaker speaks, i'll call the other five up so that we don't have any breaks. are we ready to go, congressman? >> we're ready. >> so the first five, please come up, please. supervisor shirley zane, madeleine melo andean cheney, ted hinrich, dave adams, and
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suzanne spear. >> i would like to be entered in that but i cannot give you my name. i have to stay anonymous for security reasons. i'm an ex-military officer, i'm a retired military position and also in a joint task force. >> let these speakers speak, please. >> how do i get in on the list here. i cannot give you my name. >> why don't you fill out a yellow card and just put anonymous and then maybe they can call you up. >> my own family as well as myself. >> ok. thank you. >> go ahead, shirley. >> ok, thank you. first of all, thank you, congressman thompson, for being here. i'm really glad you've been appointed to this important committee. it's tragic. particularly when it involves
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our precious children. i want to make sure the relationship between guns, gun ownership, suicide and veterans suicide is part of the dialogue here tonight. i want to share some sobering statistics with you. suicide is the leading cause of firearm death. in 2009, the u.s. firearm suicide total was over 18,000, and 11% increase from 2006. as compared to half of that number of homicides. although most gun owners reportedly keep a firearm in their home for protection or self-defense, 83% of gun-related deaths in gun owner homes are the result of a suicide, often by somebody other than the gun owner. homes with guns are five times more likely to experience the suicide of a household member than homes without guns. five times. death by firearm is the fastest growing method of suicide. and unlike suicide attempts using other methods, 92% of
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suicide attempts with a gun are fatal, meaning a temporarily depressed person who uses a gun will never get a second chance at life. individuals are nine times more likely to die by suicide if a loaded gun is in their house than there is no gun. congressman thompson, i know that you're a veteran, and i know veterans' issues are near and dear to your heart as they are to mine, and i brought up a photo of my dad who is a marine corps world war ii veteran, distinguished flying cross and want to share a couple facts and ask you for what i would like you to address here tonight. 20% of u.s. deaths from suicide are veterans. yet veterans make up only 10% of the population. veterans are more likely than the general population to use firearms as a means of suicide, and among male veterans, 84% have completed suicides involve firearms.
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i'm going to give my conclusions and finish within one minute, i promise. >> you can give me your close later. >> thank you for being here tonight. >> hello, mike. i'm madeline melo. this is ian cheney. i know that you know me. ian was with jerry the day that he was murdered. so i will not be able to tell you the whole story, but i will start. first of all, thank you for allowing me to speak today. you knew jerry very well. my husband jerry, excuse me -- i always speak with emotion -- was murdered on august 27, 2011.
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this is the issue that you face today and our country faces. it is the very issue that i have struggled with every day since jerry's murder. the mendocino county d.a.'s report showed that not only was jerry's murderer known by the family to be mentally ill and a drug user, but also that the semi-automatic weapon he used to gun down jerry was given to him by a family member. it is suspected he was able to purchase the multiple round clips legally himself. jerry worked for a local timber company. he was accompanied by a neighbor to verify a report that there was a trespass grove on the property. that neighbor is ian cheney. jerry was armed but even carried a gun that day, not an automatic weapon, but a handgun, a gun he had to use.
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in firing that handgun he was able to surprise the killer and gained just enough time to escape with the killer chasing and shooting at him. if he did not have that handgun, ian would not be standing with me tonight, and he would left behind a beautiful little girl and a loving wife. i strongly support our right to own and use guns, however, the unchecked affects violent criminals take away the rights of others to live a safe and protected life. what to do now? you will hear a thousand solutions. but i say, enforce the laws we have. every law enforcement agency i have talked to -- [applause] -- sing the same song. budget cuts, lack of trained personnel, lack of a will to
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prosecute. gun owners have a responsibility to keep those guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, drug users, and convicted criminals. thank you very much. [applause] >> hello. my name is ted heinrich. i have to say that's a very difficult speech to follow. i am not unfamiliar with guns. as a cadet, i was on an award winning rifle team in chicago, illinois, so it is not out of some sort of fear that i speak on this tonight, but i am appalled at the reckless distribution of firearms in this country and a tragic destruction of lives and families that this is causing.
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while we have laws on the books to control sales, for example, they are so shot through with holes and exception that they're meaningless for their purpose. for example, if it makes sense to do background checks on gun buyers in store sales, why is it not equally sensible to do background checks for internet sales or sales at a gun show? we need to license cars and drivers because its equipment and the use poses a danger to misused.c if we need to apply the same reasoning to gun-control.
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i hope, ultimately -- am i out? >> thank you very much. [applause] >> a point of clarification while waiting for the next speaker, we do in california, but in other states we do not. this is a national issue, so all of these things need to be taken under consideration. next speaker please. >> good evening. my name is susan spier. i am a resident of sonoma county. i do not have anything profound to say. i just want to thank you for taking the time. this is a very complex issue, and one that is deeply felt, i am sure, by everybody in the room. i am just hoping that in time we can find a way to curtail a lot of what is happening. thank you. >> james johnson. mike malone. john logan.
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michael jagardi and margaret fishman. >> i am james johnson, a retired school psychologist here in sonoma county. i have been a credentialed school psychologist for over 40 years. there needs to be early intervention, very early intervention, kindergarten, first grade level. there needs to be clear and available help for all students at early ages. early intervention is the key. so your mental health programs are key to getting students early. we have a situation where many students are identified early on and there is no way for parents to access services, on the -- unless it's mandated by juvenile courts or they
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volunteer. i have several parents call me in my private practice and publicly that their kid, by the time they reach 12, 13, are out of control. so early intervention is key to this issue. it must be engineered carefully and completely all over the state. thank you. [applause] >> i'm mike malone. i am a geologist. i spend a significant amount of time on the north coast, increasingly populated by drug cartels, pit bulls, and occasional cougar. so personal defense is important to me. congressman thompson, your committee has waded into deep water here. your actions and policies could save lives or they could have some serious unintended consequences. it is obvious to me there are those who oppose the second amendment and i'm not implying that to you. but there are those who do that and they use political subterfuge to slowly undo this
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fundamental right. by means of agencies, bureaucracies, and obscure regulation that neuter this right without having to answer to the american people. california, for example -- and i realize this is a federal thing we're talking about here. but california has created a twisted maze of firearm regulations, leaving the honest citizen who uses or carries a firearm responsibly, including for the purpose of legitimate personal safety and defense, in constant jeopardy of being criminalized. our legislature's response, there is now a proposal to double down on failure and fingerprint people who buy ammunition. congressman thompson, i hope we hear from you this evening, a promise, as one of our representatives in congress, that you and your committee will recommend that all proposed federal firearm regulations will be openly debated and voted on in congress and not imposed on americans by executive order. [applause]
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i would expect that if the president runs the democratic process that is our congress, you and your committee members would protest loud and clear. and assert congress' authority over the president in these serious constitutional matters. [applause] >> the more clapping and stuff that goes on, the longer it is going to take to get through the speakers. we will only be here till 9:15. so i would suggest that we do not show that effort. i want to point out what the administration can do by executive order, i heard it for the first time yesterday when the rest of you heard that, and that was my first question, exactly what can the president do. as i understand it, this is what he can do by executive order. he can appoint an atf director, something that has not been in place and needs to be in place. he can prosecute prohibited
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purchasers who tried to buy guns. he can tell local law enforcement when a prohibited buyer tries to buy a gun and is denied. require federal agencies to report records to the instant background check service. he can remove the remaining tiahrt restrictions from the fy-14 budget that restricts money to be used to trace crime data, something that even the original author of that effort said was foolish, and he wished to go back and undo it. and that's it. >> my name is john logan. i'm a 100% disabled retired vietnam veteran. and like you, sir, was combat wounded. i am grateful recipient of two ak rounds. i see no practical purpose to owning assault weapons except to destroy human life.
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at the same time, i am not in favor of gun control. if there are 200 million weapons in this country already -- >> 300. >> all right. that is one per person. less than 50% of the people on those weapons. >> 20%. >> you will have a hard time getting them back. right? i know within 5 miles of here i can pick up a thompson machine gun, an a.r.-15 or an a.k., right? without talking to anybody even though they're illegal in this state. one of the things it might be included in one of the bills to be comprehensive is to have a generous buyback program, especially in these economic times, that a lot of people might want to turn some of these weapons in. they may own three, you might get one. but the point is, you get rid of some of them. i do not care to ban assault
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weapons. i don't need an assault weapon to protect my home. if it takes more than five rounds to do away with an intruder, i should be dead or will be. but all of this stuff, whether you decrease the number of rounds a magazine can hold, decrease the potency of ammunition, i believe if you do not have a comprehensive mental health program, you have done nothing. [applause] >> thank you very much. >> hi, my name's michael jilardi. i will try to talk quickly. there's 80 million gun owners in this country. last i heard and i checked online several times. most of them have families. most of them have children and those families. kids getting killed in a school is very high priority. the alternative is, like senator feinstein's ban does nothing. if you eliminate weapons, only criminals will have weapons. england is like that now. their crime rate is jumping 89%
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per year, gun crimes, and nobody can own a gun in england. it is true. i've looked. believe me. >> what do they do with all those bpirdyy's they sell there? >> some of the rich people can go out, what they call birding. where do want to go with this -- california right now -- as far as getting rid of gun violence, the first thing you of the deal with is the mind. john steinbeck, a nobel laureate and hell of an author besides, has said years ago, that the mind is the weapon and everything else is merely supplemental. that pretty much sums it up. anyone that wants to kill somebody is going to find a way to do it. it's easier to make a bomb. somebody will find out that's easier and kills a lot more people. timothy mcveigh tried to get into the special forces. they figured that he was mentally inept and cut him loose. and he went and blew up --
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>> thank you. >> before the next speaker, could we have peter alexander, phil grass, hugh fike sr., orlean cole, and fred rome, please? >> go ahead. >> my name is margaret fishman. i'm a retired teacher. i am a proponent of the brady bill. i am a gun owner. there are limits to most of my constitutional rights. and the second amendment is no exception. i may not own a surface-to-air missile nor a functional tank. however, i would never want to ban all guns. the time is now for reasonable federal legislation. while i have advocated continually on this issue, it appears that the public will and the political will are now intersecting. a perfect storm, if you will.
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the time is now for a ban on assault weapons. we could get into a massive discussion these weapons but i'm referring to high-capacity removable clips. universal background checks are needed, registration and a nationwide buyback program. the time is now. i trust that the intent of this forum is more than show and tell, and that vice-president biden's nationwide effort to hear the people will result in actual federal legislation without flaws that allow skirting the issue or the law. i know from personal experience at this n.r.a. does not speak for all gun owners. the nra is mostly a lobbying organization and represent gun manufacturers and is mostly motivated by profit. the time is now. i am not so naive to think of the limits on guns will create a crime free world. there are a host of additional areas to be addressed such as mental health and educational issues. but i think we can minimize killing. and the time is now.
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thank you. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> good evening. peter alexander. i wrote my notes down. almighty see, almighty be. may the almighty spirit be upon us all. highest praise on to the living lord. we wrestle not with flesh and blood. and there will be no answer through the political or legal means. mental illness be with those seeking to maintain the insane, resulting in homeless vets and children, never-ending wars. and the core of all war. the slaughterhouse murder of 14 million sentients today and day
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after and day after. come out of religion's long-standing deception. with the 40-day general strike for freedom when be our royal reception. let us shine a light on the common denominator which, to those familiar and comprehending be m.k.-ultra signatures with all these mass shootings is the connection. also connecting to dennis kucinich's current effort assisting gulf war vets from '92 to 2002, over 200,000 vets, death by vaccines, murdered by genocide, by vaccines designed by the likes of dr. maurice wholen. my knowledge be firsthand. i have been privy to conversations with these people throughout the 1980's. i am available to be talked to by mike mcguire. one last sentence. detectives james rothstein has often stated that certain people never get prosecuted because of their connections. i hope this is not the case. thank you.
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>> next. you've not been called, sir. you need to go back and take a seat. we'll call you when it's time. >> hi. i'm hugh fike sr. i live in petaluma. thanks for holding this forum. i am glad to hear you mention the high-grade shotguns of the aristocracy uses in england. i hope it does not come to that. but it seems to be that politicians are aiming for rifles and pistols to be taking out of the citizens' hands and only birding guns will be left.
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i hope that at some point in the future you have maybe a forum on hospital violence, for example. far more people are killed by medical accidents in america than by guns. i am always fascinated that the first amendment is interpreted so liberally as to include a jar of urine with a crucifix in it, yet the second amendment is interpreted so strictly that the rights of the people shall not be infringed. it's somehow does not apply in many cases. i am glad to hear you say that guns are protected by the second amendment. so what seems to be happening is politicians going after ammunition. they want to increase the cost of ammunition to a point where it is unusable. thank you.
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[applause] >> i'm phil graf. i am a firearms instructor. i work for the largest firearms instruction organization in the country. we train 40,000 people per year. we have a standing offer the and the administrator or schoolteacher would like to be trained to come to our program for four days. we will turn out with more skill than 90% of police and 9% of military. i say that from experience. there is one common factor. mike, i've got a letter you did not get yet. it's hot off the presses, if somebody would give it to you, from dr. ignatius piazza, the founder and c.e.o. of that company. the common factor we say in these sad instances is psychotropic drugs. virtually every one of these
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maniacs was either on drugs or coming off of drugs, leaving many in a homicidal, suicidal condition. then it's a matter of what tools do they get their hands on? would it be guns, would it be bombs? they'll do it. who are the first responders? i hear people talking about the victims. i have a different category, there's victims and intended victims. victims are people who are disarmed and cannot defend themselves. intended victims have a fighting chance to fight back. there is a saying, dial 911 and die. steve, your boys are the best there are but they can't get there much faster than about 60 miles per hour. if i am there dialing 911, i would rather have my bullet getting there at 940 feet per second. >> thank you. [applause] >> where did you get the information on the drugs? >> it is something we have researched.
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at frontside. i don't personally have. i think there are other speakers tonight. >> in all three forums now, this has been brought up. almost verbatim. i have a handout i have been given in the last two. we tried to run that out. we can't find any information on that. so i am not sure how some folks can randomly get that, and yet we cannot. >> if you've -- i guarantee we will research that and you'll get a copy of the research. >> that was on my time. >> i'm fred rome. i'd like to address the definition of an assault rival. since they're talking about a ban on assault rifles. it is my understanding that an assault rifle is a rifle capable of fully automatic fire.
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such a rifle is not available to the average person. it requires a background check, it requires special permission. and they're mostly owned by military, not available to the public. there are some rifles that had a silhouette that looks like the same military rifles, but they are in no way the same. and i would like to see a reasonable definition, and not because it looks scary or it has a thumbhole stock or some physical feature, but an actually operational feature. correct me if i am wrong in my assumption. but that's what i came to understand, that for the most part, the bill of 1986 banned the manufacture of fully automatic weapons for public use
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>> we're in california so there's a legal definition in california of an assault weapon. the weapons you're talking about that require the tax stamp and special permit, those are fully automatic weapons. you're correct. there are very few of those. they don't make any more of those. in order to get them, you have to go through a number of hoops to get it. the difference is, one semi-automatic. the other is fully automatic. >> but my feeling is that the semi-automatic is not an assault rifle. >> the assault weapons that are banned in california, there is a definition of those. d.o.j. can talk about it. it's a rifle that can take a detachable magazine and has one of the following characteristics -- barrel shroud, flash suppressor, pistol grip. it is defined in law.
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but it is semi-automatic. the other weapons you're talking about are fully automatic and that does fall under the firearms act. >> thank you. >> before our next speaker, could we have griffin dynamics, joan davis, russell chlore, mark nabeski, and darrell harris? >> i'd like to thank mike thompson for having this hearing. i think this is such an important subject. i'm orlean corilla. i am the president of eagle forum of california. eagle forum has always stood for protection of property rights as well as protection of personhood. i would like to remind you how important it is to learn from history. my husband was born in germany during the second world war.
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his father was from switzerland. i would like to let you know the difference between the philosophy of guns from germany and switzerland. hitler, before he took over germany, had first made sure that all guns were registered and he said they had to be registered because the crime rate was so high. once the guns were registered, he knew where to go to take guns away from people. that's what happened next. switzerland, on the other hand, every family has to have a gun. it is given to them by the government. and every adult is trained on how to use the gun. hitler took over every surrounding country of germany except for switzerland because the other countries had also been disarmed. he knew he could not do this to switzerland. switzerland has lowest crime rate in the world. they still have this same policy
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and i'm hoping we can learn from history. [applause] >> next speaker, please. >> my name is russell chlore. i am 65 years old. california native. brought up by my father to respect firearms from the time i was 8 years old. he is a world war ii veteran, german theater. european theater. i remember him saying to me, i want to be sure that you are safe around firearms. i think education is a critical issue in this. i find it hypocritical when fear and hysteria takeover people that i would categorize as the antigun lobby or faction,
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because ignorance does not eliminate the problem or change the facts. national rifle association has a program to educate young people about how to be safe around firearms. as my father said, one day you will come in contact with a firearm. i want to make sure you do not hurt yourself or anybody else with it. we enjoyed shooting sports all our lives. still do. i also want to comment on the fact that i think that the issue of assault weapons raised by the gentleman a few speakers ago was very key. there is a lot of fear and hysteria just with the terminology, assault weapon. congressman thompson, you stated there is a legal definition for that in california. however, it is a loaded term and implies -- it implies that there
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is a human action involved in an inanimate object. i do not think that is possible. did my time run out already? very sorry. thank you for your time. [applause] >> thank you. >> i am john davis. i am from santa rosa. assault weapons, up one thing we should keep in mind is it accomplishes nothing. if i want to kill a bunch of people, it i can go down and get a semiautomatic rifle. it does not accomplish anything. it makes someone feel good, i guess, that they passed a bill. it accomplishes nothing. the second item i want to bring out, this whole idea of making the schools gun free zones. all that says to the criminals,
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come and shoot me. there is no concealed carry people here. i believe that lapierre was right. the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is having a good guy with a gun. one thing congressman thompson is familiar with is the armed security service that we have had a lot of our schools in california. a lot of the school districts already have armed people on site. the l.a. school district has a police department. that has worked out very well. the one at redding has worked very well. [applause]
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>> i am from petaluma. thank you for having this forum. i would like to enter into the national discussion more about the issue of psychotropic drugs being a commonality amongst these shooters. i would like your committee to consider in evaluating how these are being handed to more individuals throughout this country without any regard for the negative side effects. another issue of like to address is, those that possess firearms, there is a newspaper in new york that has gained access to the addresses of legal possessors of firearms and posted those of a newspaper. i believe they have gained this access through the freedom of information act. i am deeply concerned with this, the law-abiding citizens can have their private information
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posted on a newspaper, sending this information out to would-be wrongdoers and informing them of who is and who is not in possession of firearms. [applause] >> i am a retired police officer. i have always followed shootings. my only thrust is, we need for more intervention and far more intervention and mental health. it needs to be doubled, tripled. we need a lot more intervention early on. when you have a disturbed child my kids say, look at this kid. it is amazing. mental health definitely needs more money. [applause]
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>> i want to thank the panel for being here. my name is gary lucas. i have an idea the will show results faster and less expensive than anything else i've heard. remove the report of the mortality from shooters. never mentioned their name again. get the media to quit naming the names, the agenda, the high school. if people knew that they would be wiped from history, i do not think you would have to many killings. that is about all i have to say. [applause]
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>> this is a very intelligent man, gary lucas. my name is gary lucas. this boils down to two words. personal responsibility. you have responsibility for your kids. you can tell that your kid is going bad or having problems. it is your responsibility to take care of those kids. it is personal responsibility for the media to correctly report things -- i agree with gary lucas. there are to blame.
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they create these mindless video games that i would not allow my kids to play. they will go over to another kid's house and play them. they glorify violence. they glorify death. budgeting more for mental- health. thank you. [applause] >> good evening, panel. congressman thompson, i found a newspaper you were saying how your experience in vietnam, you know weapons well enough to say the assault weapons to not belong in the streets. i think we should remind ourselves that you were in vietnam on the gulf of tonkin resolution.
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and given that that was false, that does not put you in a position to say where assault weapons are appropriate or not. i wonder if there will be a time when this many people come out to address all the other children hurt by violence, such as drones. all the citizens and mexico who have been hurt by fast and furious. [applause] on the issue of mental health services, we should not be looking for prescription drugs to be a solution. there is 28,000 drug overdoses last year. many of them were prescription drugs.
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you're saying that these mass shooters are not drug. one of the columbine shooters was definitely drugged. thank you. [applause] >> i am a resident of petaluma and a gun owner. i was going to tell a long story, but i am going to shorten it. when i grow, there is a great story of a man i knew and his family. they were attacked in the middle of the night by a mob. he had a shotgun, kept the mob of for two hours. and they came in with tear-gas provided by the authorities in sonoma county, brought him out of his house and tarred and feathered him because he was an organizer, labor organizer,
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communist, and a jew. i do think that assault weapons i understand the difference and assault weapons. when i talk about fully automatic, we're talking about high capacity clips. i think there should be a buyback program for semiautomatics that have removable clips. we should ban the manufacture of these guns, and possession. but anybody who wants to own one should go through a background check. if you're a longtime owner, but should be done by the local police, local sheriff, maybe even a gun club. thank you. [applause]
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>> hello. i am a member of the commission on human rights and a professor emeritus of psychology at sonoma state. i appreciate your emphasis, congressman thompson, and the fact that we're dealing with gun regulation, not the question of gun ownership. i think the questions of regulation are very complicated and difficult to wrestle with. one of the things i want to comment briefly on is the psychological and cultural complexity of the issue. it is pretty clear that the ownership is a deeply psychological issue related to the identity and imagination of
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both gun owners and anti-gun pacifists. a lot of the work that needs to be done in this area is going to be heavy lifting of the local level. it will have to do with all the areas that have been mentioned. education, mental health, enforcement, public communications, media. i would like to suggest the value of framing the federal policy as one which will support the efforts of the heavy lifting that is going to need to be done at the local level in order to get a handle on this problem. this includes allocating resources. [applause] >> thank you. if you do not have enough time to get your remarks, if you have written remarks or material you want to pass and, you can do that. i will be sure to read it. >> i am from sonoma. a 60-year resident. a soldier.
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a concerned taxpayer in regards to your legislation. the term, i am from the government and i am here to help, scares the hell out of me. [laughter] you folks are the problem. you are not the solution. you help foster the emotion among the crowd. if you look on the state regulations for assault rifles, i got burned on it personally. the system now has a system within it were you are guilty until proven innocent. when you ask for your weapons back, you are told, it is a gun, not your property.
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mr. sheriff -- have you called the sheriff's office recently? you dial one for english. i have done it a few times. how long it takes to get through. i worked with emergency services in the valley for years. part of the problem, not the solution. [applause] >> my name is carol. i am a retired schoolteacher. i grew up on mount jackson and i grew up in a time when all the city cousins would come up and go deer hunting. when i shot one, it was very loud, it banged into my shoulder and i never did it again.
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i am for personal responsibility. we have a severe lack of funds for mental health. parents talk to me in tears. their hands are tied. we need more money in education, responsibility, and safety. i took it into my own hands because we had illegal people on our property. we run up and we solve the problem. i am for responsible gun ownership. the kids should not be afraid to tell on people when they have heard something. thank you very much. >> i am barbara.
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>> i thought it was marge that i called. >> i am part of the last group. the reality is that adam would not likely have been under the care of the best mental health care system available to him. what we know about him is that he had asperger's syndrome. children with asperger's have few or no friends. they are taunted and bullied. the end up with low self-esteem and a lot of anger.
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it was true of adam. it was true of the two at columbine. if we can teach our children and learn ourselves how to except those who are different, not just with skin color, language, or religious beliefs, but those who lack social or athletic skills, kids who are too fat, a child was retarded, someone who has hearing loss or someone -- we may be able to go a long way to prevent these tragedies if we have programs in all schools to deal with bullying. thank you. [applause]
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>> when a person needs protection, it can be say that there were only seconds to spare when the police are minutes away. murder and violent crime has dropped significantly. it is necessary to find the true target or reason in stopping violence. one of the possible reasons, the one that stands out is a common denominator. it has been the fact in these mass shootings that every one of these perpetrators has been under psychiatric care and taking strong, mind altering, psychiatric drugs. according to the newspaper, mostly. drugs that have been created by the pharmaceutical companies in recent years, which have been systematically pushed on our children and youth through the public school system and health care system. if we really want to stop these violent events by young people,
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it will be absolutely necessary to ban the prescription and distribution of these strong, mind altering drugs. as a society, we will not have drug induced assassins killing innocent people. at the same time, we must strengthen those aspects of society that have statistically provided a positive reduction in violent crime. to allow law-abiding, responsible citizens to carry weapons, concealed or not, to protect against mass shootings and violence. [applause] >> listen, keep your comments until you come up to the podium.
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let's be respectful for all the speakers. the more you clap, the less time we're going to have. >> thank you for this opportunity to speak. violence has come very close to my family. my father, who was an engineer on the railroad, was operating a train, going down the tracks, and the young man stood stood by the tracks, shot for pleasure and shot my father. my brother was killed by a man who carried a gun everywhere. this man had killed three other people, was still on the streets, carrying his gun. his gun always had hollow point bullets. this does not make me want to own a gun. this makes me want to ask my legislatures, to plead with them, to stop the manufacture, and have a complete ban on the manufacture of hollow point
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bullets. thank you. [applause] >> homeland security just purchased 1.7 billion rounds of hollow point bullets. there is not a person in this room whose heart is not out to the victims of the recent shootings. being a prior military person, i would have cherished the opportunity to get in front of those children and take a bullet for them. i find it dianne feinstein's bill offensive, a logical, and unconstitutional. [applause] especially when we are shipping guns into mexico which has killed 50,000 people in the last three years. we are shipping guns to syria and libya, but it you want to
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take guns away from law-abiding american citizens. you will not find any logic in that. officers rarely prevent crime. they investigate crime. which is one of the most important reasons why citizens need to be able to protect themselves. through my research, i found that 70% of gun violence in this country is perpetrated by gangbangers. and second offenders. my solution is simple. you commit a gun felony in this country, go to jail for life. take the criminals off the street, not the guns. [applause] >> good evening. my name is kathy. i am for the nra. i am a recruiter for the nra as well as the california rifle and
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pistol association. one of the things i can see as a parent and grandparent is, we need to look into educating our young children. through the nra and crpa, we have programs to teach children about gun safety, how to handle a weapon, how to use a weapon, when to use it, and when not to use it. i think that is one of the things we can strive to do throughout the nation. not just here. children need to know how to protect themselves. i have 15 grandchildren. they all know how to use a weapon. they range from six to 21. nine boys and six girls. every one of them can shoot. the school program, the bay area, concord area, the have rifle teams.
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competitive rifle teams. i like to see this happen throughout california and throughout the nation. [applause] >> good evening. my name is patrick. i have a question i want to pose and get a show of hands from the audience. the question is, who would support arming and training school staff to the point where you had adequate, immediate protection in the case of the sandy hook massacre? a show of hands for who would favor that. and who would oppose that? it is about 50/50. and a lot of fence sitters.
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and i'd like to ask -- >> direct your comments up here. >> i am. >> be respectful to everybody here. >> i've got 30 seconds up here. i will do what i want. you work for me. i pay your salary.
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>> good evening. thank you for holding this forum. i am a resident in santa rosa. i've been a california resident since 1975. it pains me, and many of us that have to be here, and name from the past as some people in this room might remember -- charles wittman. austin tower shooting. since then, we have been on a path in this nation of moral degradation and the lack of god, lack of leadership at all levels right now. the lack of any kind of moral compass, as well as the lack of medical care for kids.
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in one of the things that is very unfortunate about a new town andorra and these other fans is that gun free zones do not seem to be a winning concept. i think that security is at some level an extremely good idea. we have more gun laws now than we know what to do with. you instructed us not to address the second amendment. that one phrase in there, to infringe, seems to be happening quite a lot lately. i have a lot of friends in town who have businesses that revolves around a second amendment. in this economy, i do not think we need to close any more businesses. thank you. [applause]
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>> i am a police officer here. thank you for coming out. you're one of the few congressmen who is taken the initiative to do this. you called sandy hook a gun tragedy. it was not. it was a human tragedy. you asked for solutions. i am not going to stand up here and lecture. i will say i carry ar-15 in my car every day. i find it deplorable that my wife may not be able to when i am gone. she cannot protect yourself, she does not need it, but i do, and you do?
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everyone should have the ability to protect themselves if needed. the solution, i know you guys are doing the best you can with what you have -- they need more for mental health. they're doing all they can, but they need more. parents need to start taking responsibility and raising their children so that i do not have to. [applause] >> my name is peter. i am a current veteran, soldier in the u.s. army. i agree with the personal responsibility comments and , mental health comments as well. no amount of background checks, limitations and restrictions
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will stop somebody who wants to hurt somebody else. i was stationed at fort hood. i had friends in that unit. case in point with him, with bradley manning who went through some scrutiny, people are going to do what they're going to do. no amount of restrictions, limitations on responsible citizens like myself and others will change that. i find it ridiculous that i can be trusted to carry an actual assault weapon overseas in a foreign country amongst children from other countries, and i can be trusted than to not create some type of international incident. this is when we are getting shot at every day. i find it ridiculous i can be trusted in that type of stressful situation to not open fire randomly, but i cannot be trusted here among friends and family. thank you. [applause]
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>> hello. thank you for convening this forum. my name is curtis. i am a gun owner. a hunter. a former nra member. i have very serious concerns about the inability to come up with a good definition for an assault weapon. several people this evening have pointed out how difficult coming
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up with a definition is. i have a rather simple solution. make semiautomatics illegal. class them the same as a fully automatic weapon. i believe that for hunting purposes, it is not that hard to work a bolt action or lever action. a lot of people prefer to hunt with a single shot. magazine capacity, i see no reason for any more than three rounds. if you need more than three rounds when you are hunting, you need to spend some time at the range before going out. [laughter] that is all. [applause] >> my name is sharon. many thank you's to congressman thompson.
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you're a brave and courageous representative for taking on this issue. i spent quite a bit of time over the last couple of weeks reading and talking about this on the internet. the number of death threats against senator feinstein is astonishing. these so-called law-abiding gun owners are making an awful lot of threats. we saw that on national tv last night with alex jones threatening civil war in america if he does not like the gun control that president obama and vice president biden come up with. this is really upsetting to me, it is profoundly un-american and anti-patriotic to threaten war if they do not get their way. those threats are all over gun
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discussions in this country. i would like one of your colleagues to speak out about this, threatening violence if you do not get your way is not part of a american way. [applause] thank you. >> i am from santa rosa. i have a daughter. they're studying this issue in the world history. 44 people were killed when a school board member blew up the school. the issue is of violence. from an analysis of 102 rampages, they were not drunk, they were not on drugs.
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the analysis showed that most of them had mental illness issues. also, most of them were unemployed. a significant number of them threatened violence prior to the event. i hope we can focus on solutions to address the mental health issue and our own economic issue that many of these events are started by. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for hosting this.
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my name is laura. i was born nine months after my father returned from the war. he went to korea to fend off another bully, also a gun control supporter. i am glad that my father is not alive today to see this lunacy. i was prepared to come with facts tonight and some provide suggestions. i realized how pointless that would be. even this committee that you care is focused on gun violence, which accounts for only 3% of violent crime in america. what about the other 97% of violent crime? where's the committee for that? our government uses the horrific
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deaths of innocent children as a despicable ploy to present their own political agenda. the fear mongering among the media and our elected officials has deeply divided this country and driven us further apart than at any other time since the original civil war. and i am afraid that we're once again perched on the precipice. we see our children and grandchildren bullied at school. what example do we give them? thank you. [applause] >> my name is harry johnson. i do not have a purple heart, but i did serve in airborne.
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a former chief of police. i retired after 20 years. everything has been said that i had in my notes to say. with all due respect to the sheriff, with a law enforcement background, it has been said the police cannot protect you. after 20 years with the courts, the courts are way too lenient to hold people responsible. it starts at juvenile age, goes to adults. we do not have the responsibility there. rather than during any restriction or further restrictions on firearms, i think we would best be served by providing the resources towards the mental health people, and identifying and taking care of those issues first.
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thank you. [applause] >> i am a little bit nervous. my name is brenda harris. i am a sonoma county resident. why do avid collectors have to have bullets to go with them? i do not know if i am mistaken, but i believe dianne feinstein's bill that she wants to submit
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allows for grandfathered in. i think that should be eliminated totally. all assault weapons. animals need a fair chance. they do not need to have helicopters with high-powered scopes and rifles killing. like the gentleman said, three rounds of whatever. we used only have bows and arrows years ago. lobbyists in nra should not run out country. >> good evening. i thank you for calling this meeting. it has been long overdue. i met the over 20 years ago as a state senator and discuss these problems coming and solutions. i want to address that tonight.
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january 24, 1994, one week after this county, it exposed the fact that the cia is creating mind control projects to create killers in our country. it is all in the books. child abuse. i discussed this in detail. i've also gone through the district attorney about this. we have the solutions. the fbi is covering of the use of these drugs. it tells you all about these drugs. he wrote the book those in the fact that they are doing this. thank you. here are some handouts for you.
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>> could we please have mike dunlap? i was born here. my first gun i took to school for show and tell. i worked on a dairy ranch. every kid learned how to deal with a fire arm. they knew which is not to point with anything you did not want to destroy.
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i would like to ask a couple of things. we want to get the violence out of the use of guns. i currently live in lake county. last year we started a women's program. we have had a bunch coming out that have never touched a gun before. it has been extraordinary to watch the change and these women. are we listening to me or watching him? ok. you put it on the table that everything is on the table. i want to hold due to that.
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i do not want this to be everything is on the table the way that republicans were. do not define what the middle is an start from there. let's talk about the whole table. we need to resolve the issue. >> everyone else here, thank you for the chance to comment on this gun violence issue. i am a constituent of nancy pelosi. we're not having a here in san francisco. that is why i am here. shortly after hearing of the massacre in connecticut, i posted a petition on the web at called "ban assault weapons, all of them." i'm here to present you with
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nearly 5000 signatures the people nationwide who have signed the petition. it is not done by an organization or a group. it is just me, a concerned citizen and those who share my view, a ban on assault weapons, all of them. many who signed made comments. i urge you to leave through the comments. i will read a couple appeared as a former marine, i can guarantee very few if any civilians need anything like the assault weapons. mental illness might be a good scapegoat to fix the blame, it is nothing more than a red herring. the real problem is the profits of these weapons generate.
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>> thank you. i will read the comments. >> i found this information. the second amendment was included in the bill of rights to ensure the individual maintained the right to defend himself and all occasions. the citizen is dependent for protection. what it your door is being kicked in and police are 20 minutes away? educate yourself on how you can protect the second amendment. in england and australia comment that made it illegal for people to own a gun. all the criminals get their guns on the black market and the people cannot protect themselves. they are sitting ducks. if you take away the right to
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defend ourselves we will be in serious trouble. the schools obama's children go to have armed guards. they're thinking about hiring some police with guns. shame on president obama for seeking more than control and for trying to burden the parents of other school children from doing what his own do. in 1929 and the soviet union established gun-control. from 1929-1953. >> thank you. thank you. [applause] >> before you speak, sir, could we have 3? mike homer, larry, david haines,
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and bob smiley. >> thank you. i am a retired teacher. i was a junior college budget counselor for 45 years. this is foundational for all of us. the genius in this is the individuality to responsibility. responsibility a means to respond to what? to what we think is good. responsibility is an item not well considered in america because there's not a communality and understanding what is good for us and our citizenry. me there'd be ample input,
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calmness, a compassion, that there be good judgment upon the legislatures and get other people out of the way so the operate from their conscious and heart. let us all back on an ancient philosopher, aristotle. it is a little deep. it was spoken about 300 before christ. the best the is only a parent to be good person. it produces false views about principles of actions. we can not be prudent with out being good. >> thank you.
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>> my rights were just violated. i was told i cannot talk to my public officials with my cane and i need to walk. the sonoma county court is out of control. i have been told to shut up. he should have seen it. it was horrible. i have a friend that was shot in the back, 19 years old. she is a cripple in a paraplegic. she carries a gun for safety which is her right. the second amendment applies to everybody. i believe you have the right to carry military grade tools around. everybody has a right to carry these things. only a well armed citizen army can sort of change of the government. she was shot in the back.
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he is getting out of jail soon. she was in a car with a man she was with for a couple of months. they have proved that she had no gun. they put her in jail anyway. this is what we have going on in our country. out of control courts. there is a program for internment camps. you can join the army and become an employee of one of the camps. >> don't forget your cane. >> right. thanks. >> good evening. i did not vote for you. i am very much impressed.
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i would love to have a beer with you some time and talk man-to- man. the second amendment does not give us the right to bear arms. it is endowed to us by our creator. the second amendment helps the government from firelight are gun rights. three months ago i legally purchased and ar-15. i go to the range of touchholes and paper. my family is safer. if there was some wind out of your shooting children will love to have my gun in their hands and the skills to operate it. the four shootings are at an all-time low. coincidence? i do not think so. december 17 the shooting as san antonio, and man walked into a theater and started shooting.
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and our citizens stood up and shot him. there were no other deaths. when the police respond the average death toll is 14. when an armed citizen responds, the average death toll is two. >> good evening. i am a second amendment advocate. i want to fix this problem as much as you. some make firearms and assault weapons and rifles. some ought to do this for each round the trigger is pulled. these are not assault weapons.
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never work, it never will be. it refers to different types of fire arms and has different meanings and usages. an assault weapon is most commonly defined as a fire arm possessing certain features summer to those a military firearms. is considered a political drubbing catch phrase.-- poli tical-driven catch phrase. i'm going to get you copies of this. we need to stop calling the guns
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by the wrong names to think their weapons of mass killings. we do not need this below us. we need to force the ones before us. >> thank you. >> could we have charles stewart? >> thank you. this is about the second amendment. it is about whether this will be a robust amendment or an empty closet.-- empty clause. the issue is about the definition of assault weapons. we were in the military. we both know what an assault rifle is. my concern is with the passage of the bill, what we're going to see is only cosmetic changes.
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we're going to say no collapsible stocks will be allowed. how does the removal of a cosmetic effect on a rifle reduce its capacity to shoot in the rounds that it has? high-capacity magazines may be reduced down to 10. the virginia tech shooter only had to run magazines at that time. the registration is up. there is the redefining of automatic weapons. this is us of civilians to next to nothing. >> thank you.
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>> i am carl stewart. i am a former school administrator. i know that i'm speaking to a largely nra audience. i am a liberal democrat. i want to speak in favor of an updated assault weapons ban, including high-capacity magazine ban. i like to speak in favor of any gun purchase requiring a background check and a license. this includes of gun shows which apparently have variously polls. -- various loopholes.
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i'm going to cut to the chase. that is it for me. thank you. >> i am so impressed tonight with all my fellow citizens and their support. i am a gun owner. i personally, my definition of an assault weapon is any weapon pointed at me. i do not care if it is a single shot 22. i feel that we're going after this whole problem back word.-- backward. if we look at the statistics, and they are out there. he came out. when he started that study he thought if we have less guns we will have less crime. i would encourage you all to look at that and to review it.
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we're under attack. we feel that you're going to take our guns away. what we need is to lead by examples. lean and mean this here in california. let your assistance be educated and be part of your support. thank you. >> all five more.
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carlton, pam, and john materas. >> good evening. i would like to think you and all your panels for taking the time to take the input from those of us. not me tell you a little bit about my background. i've been out here for many years. i'm considered the tree hugger for california. when i am in california and considered a redneck with a gun collection.
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i can see both sides of the situation. what this issue brings out as the extremes on both sides. i hear friends of mine that are tree huggers telling me that we want to outlaw all semi- automatic guns because they do not understand the difference between semi-automatic and automatic. when we talk about our rights that we always have, one thing we need to keep in mind that this is supposed to be a living and breathing document. i'm not ever going to support guns being outlawed completely. i do think there are some limitations. i hear the right to begin.
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>> thank you. >> in 2008 the u.s. had over 12,000 gun related homicides. japan had 11. in 2006 they had 2000 of 120 million people. we do not need to reinvent the wheel. you have to attend an all day class, pass a written test, passed a shooting range class, passed a mental test. you need to check for any criminal record or extreme
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group. you need to provide documentation and the gun in your home. police need to inspect the again annually. they take the gun violence seriously. he thinks we should charge $5,000 per bullet. i think taxing bullets and the high-capacity magazines makes sense. we need to set our priorities. we do not have the right to own rocket launchers and hand grenades. this is the case where we need to have laws prevent ourselves from our own recklessness. >> thank you.
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>> what is wrong with our judicial system that it is broken? if no one can see that, then you need to open your eyes a little wider. people are not responsible. we all understand something has to be wrong these people to shoot 20 innocent children. we understand that is a mental health issue. law-abiding citizens are not the problem. we have too many laws. no one understands them. stop doing some of this stuff that people can say i had a rough childhood. let's put them in places where nothing happens to them. if you enforce the laws that are currently in place, maybe some of these people will think
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twice before they take a gun to another human being. if they cannot respect human life, there is a real problem. those are some of the issues. those need to be taken care of. officers have to go out and witness some of these horrific incidents. those are some of the things that need to be taken care of. >> thank you. >> good evening. i am a family law attorney. a client of mine was shot before my eyes. the person who held the gun
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carried only a revolver, and a small one with that appeared i will remember until i died the sociopathic stair he gave me before he expired. i see this largely as a mental health issue. i see this, when i watch the news about a psychotic breaks, i see this as a problem with depression. we need to have more active intervention. one said violent video games are protected by the first amendment. i think we can find a way around that. we are smart enough to do that. in terms of the high-capacity magazines, it is simply a due
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process issue. we can find a way to buy those bought one way or another. those are solutions within our grasp. they are doable. they will make a difference. thank you for your time this evening. >> thank you. >> i wanted to thank you for this opportunity to speak. one thing that has really concerns me since the untimely death of oscar grant was the public outpouring regarding the debt of this young man as a father and grandfather. i cannot imagine losing someone like that here we forgot the victims in between. i would like to propose that our historic president make use of his unique position in history and digest the communities that are most affected by that, challenge them
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in his weekly radio address, may be the victims that were killed every week, and challenge those communities to address the problem internally. get the guns away from the young men. do what he could do. pounds away at that. and lots of other comments i have have already been said. thank you very much for this opportunity to speak. >> thank you. >> is not mean i get 10 minutes? >> nice try.
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>> that is good. my name is carol. i am also a family law attorney. i am a former resident of san francisco. i happen to move to san francisco in january of 1979 which is right after dianne feinstein unexpectedly became mayor of that city. coming out of san francisco two weeks after the shootings at 101 california street. it was a very horrible set of books and to my 13 years living there. in the middle of that 13 years i had the unhappy experience of having to bury my sister who had taught herself with a gun that she legally purchase down on first street in san francisco. she had a background check. they said she was fine. it did not matter that she had been hospitalized six months
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earlier for attempted. the problem we have is everyone is pointing the finger someone else in the system. the nra is saying guns to not tell people, people kill people. we do not kill people, people kill people. we hear we have to get the mentally ill people out of the way. we are a multi disciplinary society. we have a multi disciplinary issue. we have to regulate the projects. we have to get the mental health issue. >> tell me when to go. thank you for holding this
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forum. and not heard anyone mention that there is a school shooting today in california. it was with a 12 gauge shotgun. i hope we will not talk about i will not be surprised. the question is how to reduce gun violence. someone earlier mentioned dianne feinstein getting death threats. why do we look to dianne feinstein for suggestions? what did she do when she got death threats? she got herself a concealed carry permit. she recognizes the importance of the second amendment. it does not matter if every single person in your came in and ask you to ban assault rifles or whatever. government officials only have one prerequisite to hold office, to take an oath to the constitution that says people
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have a right to bear arms. the right should not be infringed. the agency does not seem to understand what in french means. the most disturbing part is not about banning the second amendment. if i had a gun i'm pretty sure i would be charged with a crime. >> thank you. we have richard kirk, bridget manser, liz kostein, and max and dede bridges. >> call a few more so they can
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get a lineup. >> anonymous. [applause] >> thank you for having this seminar. i am a retired police officer. i am a criminal investigator. i have a lot of dealings with mentally disturbed individuals. one issue i want to address is about the schools and what you can do. one of my suggestions is that each one of the school rooms, regardless of what level, have a hot button. teachers should be trained in order to determine whether they need to hit the button. it should be in conjunction with the police department. that would really alleviate a lot of problems. if anyone came in or they heard a disturbance, i think the teacher should have intensive
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training in how to determine whether or not an individual is finally dangers are coming across that way. in connecticut, the parent did intend to talk to the counselor about her young son but it was not successful. videogames are detrimental to our children. i guess that is it. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> i am from sonoma. i am a pediatrician, a gun owner, and a vietnam combatant. i deal was psychotic and suicidal people every day. prohibition against alcohol did not work. the figure out how to regulate
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the use and abuse of alcohol, prohibiting other substances does not work. the drug war causes more violence than it creates. substance abuse contributes greatly to mental illness and violence by decriminalizing all of the substances. we can eliminate a lot of violence. 90 6% of us and america use alcohol. half of the alcoholic's hurt other people in their alcoholism. forties' americans use pot. only 10% did screwy on it. if you are violence.
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this would be a common ground that you in the legislature could agree on. nobody from the nra wants a drunk or a tweeker driving toward them. >> i will speak for anonymous. >> anonymous is right behind you. >> it is? ok. [laughter] i voted for you. the time is now. i hope you use what everybody said to pass something. thank you for clarifying the second amendment earlier. there's not a tyrannical government trying to take away your guns. however, i do believe you should regulate armor piercing
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bullets, then silencers, take away high magazines. everyone is disrespectful here in needs to be quiet. thank you. >> before the next speaker, could we have john spencer,, dwayne bellinger, roy l. and bonny merrill. >> i have to apologize if i get loud. my hearing is a bad. i have survived three attempts of getting blown up. the hearing is not good. my identity is only known by a two federal agents. and authorization smuggles in
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human trafficking, guns, and drugs. people cannot say the drugs and alcohol could be controlled with prohibition. prohibition of guns will not stop it either. i have asked for the ninth circuit court to rule the law unconstitutional, which it is. i have not only two medical degrees but a degree in american history. it says the first amendment to the constitution contain the fundamental rights and freedom of every citizen. amendments 9 and 10 for congress would adopt laws that would violate these rights.
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the constitution cannot be ratified until it gets 3/4 of the colonies. >> thank you. >> the four colonies said they would not unless they got a promise to guaranteeing they would be included. if you do away with the second amendment or alter it, you have broken the contract. >> thank you very much. >> i have one more statement i want to make. >> category one is covered by the constitution. >> thank you. thank you. thank you.
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>> i find it deceitful and -- >> the next speaker, please. >> i am from santa rosa. nothing we can do today will bring back the lives that were lost at sandy hook elementary school. i am not against hunters. some of my best friends are hunters. hopefully, they have not shot each other yet. god bless them. it was my birthday december 14, 2012. to my knowledge there were not any hunters out there trying to shoot a bag of deer or a pheasant or quail in newtown.
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you can go to bushmaster online. i may be wrong on the amount, you can buy one of these awful weapons, of course i am not sure you can use it. i know california has good laws against that. we had a national law from 1994-2004. it worked fairly well. it was not perfect. fifth one idea i have seen put out there is that the national guard might be trained. they know local schools. they can get there faster than police can. >> thank you very much. >> thank you for bringing this. i would like to say that america is at war. it is not just in foreign
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countries. it is the government against the people. the people are sovereigns. you are their servants. as such, if he passed these laws and they decide to bring up the rope and hang you from a telephone pole i think that would be just fine. [applause] >> thanks. >> i am a police officer for the state of california. my comments, i have a lot of stuff to say. it is about personal protection and people being armed. the debate is whether or not 30 rock magazines will be more dangerous than a 10 round magazine. all guns are deadly.
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i think this goes for most law- abiding citizens. 30 round magazines are not allowed for the rifle. if the tip all of these law abiding citizens and gave them 30 round magazines, i do not think they would commit crimes. they would not go down and shoot people. if the issues are mental health, which they clearly are. you can take a law-abiding citizen and give him a machine gun and they will not go to a movie theater in shoe people. it is not the weapons. the law enforcement as the best they can to stop the criminal elements. the budget have been cut so much if we took some of that money to build it and put it
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back here home, i think that was of 99% of the problem. >> thank you. >> before you speak, could we have robert mccormick, edward mendoza, and mark dupre. >> i have watched one of the violent societies in human history. what led to the american society been so aggressively violence? there is some good news. the violence and aggression internally has decrease since 1990. regardless of what the statistics, there has been a decrease of crime in our islands. what caused that decrease?
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what i found interesting was an article that exactly correlate the decrease in violence with the fact that we have outlawed the rifle from our gasoline starting from 1917. as they eliminated, there violence rate has gone down. i would like us to check this out. check out for residual lead in our schools. i do not see any way we cannot start by testing the soil, replacing it with clean soil. it should have been done decades ago. whether some children are more susceptible a more likely to have a problem. i would like to check whether we do not still have the lead pipes in our congress on the
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last century. thank you. [laughter] [applause] >> could we please have a bill harris, dan bowen and kyle keel. >> i see ernie carpenter. i know you called him. >> and bill harris, dan bowen, kyle keel. >> no signs. no signs. >> thank you. i would like to add my applause see you having this hearing. i am here tonight as the first vice-president of the national association for the enhancement
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of colored people. national resolution on this issue is for your perusal. homicide is the second comment cause of death between 22-24 year olds in the primary death of african-americans of that age group. more americans have been killed by guns in their own country and all the united states military personnel and all the wars at the same time in the entire world. african-americans and latinos are being murdered in harm's at significantly higher rates than the rest of our society. we cannot go into all these reasons. it should be noted that no other developed country allows
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the ease of access to guns possible in of the united states. above the naacp has adopted the following to policies. >> why don't you give them to me? >> ok. it is my time up? >> you know the drill. >> 1.5 minutes to solve social problem is a challenge. >> leave the paper. ok. >> hello. kenyan tell me why this administration estate fast and furious? can you tell me why the federal government last year spent 1.6 billion rounds of hollow point ammunition?
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i just have a sneaking suspicion that this government is planning to wage war against the citizens. do you get that feeling? i look back at your voting record. it is like you're being controlled by a foreign operation or something. you're voting for someone other than the american people. why is the federal government preparing like this? >> i do not know what to say to your questions. i can tell you why the government buys bullets. we have reason to use the
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bullets. >> it is against the geneva convention to use on the battlefield. you're not using it for target practice. >> because they are hollow points. no one uses them for target practice. >> i hear a lot of fear in the room. the issue is really strong. i would like to talk about compassion, the bravery it takes to be compassionate. there is a letter that was written by a young man who said he understood what adam lanza did because he thought he could have done the same thing. we do not take our reach out on
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you because we hate you or because you are bad parents or because we are evil. we take it out on me because we know you are a captive audience in your often the only audience we have. when i attack my mother or get angry at her, it had more to do with the feelings of rejection and helplessness and isolation that have been percolating in my mind. it is the isolation that drove me to think that my solution was to take others live is. i in the father of two children who were severely neglected before we adopted them. i have had to spend a tremendous amount of energy to try to create a sense of safety for them. it has taken everything i know to do that. it has taken compassion. >> thank you.
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[applause] how many more people want to speak? >> about 20, 25. >> i will stay long enough. is that ok? we can hear everyone speak if we go to 1 minutes. i know you have to leave. >> thank you. i do not really have anything prepared but there are so many people that are pro-gun here. i think most people are really looking for solutions. you have a form called prevention. i am not hearing a lot of good ideas or long term solutions. we have 30,000 gun deaths in our country. others have 10,000.
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there is a lot of talking about government workers. they were the teachers to protect other students. the firefighters went to protect a buyer and they were killed -- put out a fire and they were killed. we need to understand all the stresses we have, why there is so much violence and keep the dialogue going. it may not be a one-year solution. >> thank you. >> good evening. i am a student. i am in a training program to become a police officer. it is unreasonable to ask law abiding citizens to give up a right they have grown up with.
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what we need is more training for school personnel, not just teachers, for everyone to understand how to react to acted shooters. we need more training for local police agencies to quickly respond and know the layout of their local schools. what needs to be done is to emphasize personal responsibility. we cannot give people who are mentally ill, drug users are convicted killers, access to firearms. all gun owners, including myself, need to take that responsibility. >> my name is edward mendoza.
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i would like to express my support for requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales and private sales. i would like to see a ban of all assault weapons including high-capacity magazines. i would like to make gun trafficking a federal crime. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you for coming to talk with us. i am bill harris. i just retired from 46 years of active military and contract service to other government agencies. i am going to be quick. i have done great things like this before. issue, a large number of mass
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and serial killers do not kill for the thrill of the guns. it is only the end to a mean, releasing the same kind of pain inflicted on them. there are 60 million sociopaths and unknown millions of psychologically ill people all untreated living among us. those not include those in prisons and mental hospitals. solution, increased awareness and detection of mental illness to people across the country. a very high percentage of mass murderers -- >> thank you. if you have a paper, i will read it. >> i do. thank you. >> i am visiting you. thank you for hosting this. i am a 15 year veteran of the
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u.s. air force. i had the top security clearance. i am as well trained if not better than some of the officers out on the streets. i am the guy you want to own guns and help in a bad situation. in this state i am restricted from doing so. many of my representatives are demonizing me because i want to own the very weapons that these police officers used to defend themselves from the criminal threat. i cannot do it in my own home. i was happy to hear a police officer actually mentioned that exact issue. the weapons they used to defend themselves on duty we cannot have at home. we cannot have the same defense they have. that is a really bad issue. quit demonizing us for protecting ourselves. >> thank you.
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>> could we have -- >> thank you. thank you for taking the time to listen to all of us speak what is on our mind. i have lived here in the county for 35 years. i was at work in san francisco around the corner from one the one california from the day my friends and colleagues were needlessly murdered. i've worked on the board to prevent gun violence. not to ban guns but to reduce gun violence. we do need a background check. we need a ban on military-style assault weapons. we need a ban on large capacity magazines. that will not solve our
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problems. we need something very much more. that is something everyone has taught me. we need all of our freedoms and rights under our constitution. i do not believe putting our children a lot down in schools is a way to protect their freedoms and the way to teach them freedoms. there are lots of problems we need to soften things we need to do. sensible gun laws will help us do that. for thank you. >> my name is nathan russell. i had the privilege and honor to train 4000 people in the last 2.5 years. i have come across individuals that are terrified of guns and were against the guns. by the time they were trained, their opinions have all changed.
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they realize guns are a good tool in the tool is in place to protect ourselves from not only our government in the event something like that happened but also in the event of a natural disaster. i do not want a deer rifle to protect my home and family. i want a weapon designed to kill people to protect myself from crazy people. and the last century there were more than 59 million people that were rounded up and massacred within a few years of the government's disarming them. we need to be careful of that. we need to make sure it doesn't happen here. >> thank you. >> could we please have curtis, sandra, sean martin, david adams, --
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>> i just have a couple of notes i scratched here tonight. i'm tired of people who don't know anything about guns writing gun laws. this has been something i have seen time and time again. it's all in motion and has nothing to do with logic. banks, politicians, celebrities, all of you folks have armed guards. our school children do not. i don't think we need to have guards in schools necessarily, but i think allowing the teachers and staff to have concealed carry permits and use them and be trained is a very good idea. i think the litmus test for any laws proposed would be would day affect what we are
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concerned about? we have to look at that. england top off their guns and they have three times more violent crime. >> thank you. [applause] >> on a local attorney and former criminal prosecutor. i am here to try to function as a peacemaker and come -- it in a compassionate manner to save lives. i am going to draw a distinction between a prediction, a warning, and a threat. what i am going to say >> is intended to be a compassionate, motion of peace and a friendly fair warning.
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the gun grabbers are moving the nation closer literally to civil war. that is not a threat, that is a prediction. i know i am being recorded. many of you will think i'm crazy. i've thought about this for 15- 20 years. i've read every major federal, state discussion of the second amendment. >> thank you. >> i am willing to fight. >> thank you. >> for the sheriff -- one thing that sheriff. one thing that would simplify the enforcement of such an amendment laws is take shall not be infringed seriously. that makes prior restraint unconstitutional. >> let's give everyone time to talk, please. [applause] >> my name is sean martin. i just retired after 37 years
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of teacher -- teaching in the sonoma. dr. kirk took some of my point i was going to make about the successes -- successful prohibition. there are 71,000 gun control laws, federal and state, and all the people who are talking about background checks, they are largely state by state and they are not funded. there is no money for it. deferreds in arizona or in mexico, that individual would not i have had a gun but nobody put him in the system. nobody had money to put it into a computer. pennsylvania has only 16 people in their system. maryland has one. you can't convince me there's only one person in maryland to crazy to have a gun. these laws only work if they are funded. by confiscating guns, confiscating assault weapons,
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there are millions of them. >> thank you. [applause] >> also a teacher. i think there is a great deal of a genuine fear in this room and i hope we can help our neighbors find a sense of real safety in something besides automatic weapons, assault weapons, their threat to peace in that community and ignore the root causes of crime. what is really being said is trust no one but ourselves and our personal assault weapons. every man for themselves. that is not a community. that cannot raise our children to be healthy. it's an insane asylum. i applaud dianne feinstein standing against the gun lobby. the government makes money off of keeping people fearful and buying guns.
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we have too little compassion for one another. to paraphrase martin luther king, we live and learn to stay together as brothers cordite together as fools. >> [reading names] >> hello neighbor. i am here to talk about the fifth amendment. the fifth amendment says congress may not deprive persons of life, liberty and property with out due process of law. we the people have suffered from 77 unconstitutional orders of congressional choice against cia enemies for fascists gains since world war two, a last
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lawful war -- 66 years. as a result, we have squandered our resources and killed our neighbors and later sells the most hated people on earth. congressman, you did not vote against the law that authorized the united states use the armed forces of the united states as he determines to be necessary. that gives the president the right to use guns at will. these need to be stopped. >> thank you. [applause] >> good evening, congressman. can you hear me ok? i am a retired law enforcement and the critical instant negotiator for number of years. i have a lot of opinions on this issue but what i came to talk to you about was a group of
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people that are working in our schools, not in the classified section, but as staff and volunteers in after-school programs throughout the state. we are providing training and issues for staff. we have about 450,000 kids per day in after-school programs with about 22,000 staff that are not being given the training or ability to respond to these incidents should they occur after school hours on school property. there is some fear with these folks and i don't really think it is being looked at and i was asked if i would bring this forward tonight. thank you for your time. >> thank you very much. [applause]
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>> thank you for hosting this. there is a right to bear arms, and there are responsible gun owners. however, it seems to me in addressing a secure state, their own security, they are skipping over the well regulated militia. that is the government. it is regulation. that is part of the second amendment. i'm not a big military person, but you might look to the military as to what regulation might be. the nra at its to training and that is wonderful. a lot of training. we know that it very much
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includes supervision. can we admit to some supervision also and personal responsibility. you are responsible in the military, both supervision and the law. >> thank you. thank you very much to you all for coming. pardon me? let's go. we have five minutes left. >> thank you. everyone that has articulated the right for the second amendment, i don't need to repeat. i concur with all of them. what i am concerned about and i have not heard discussed tonight is the fact that sonoma county and other supervisors and legislators have signed on to an arm of the united nations. the united nations is clearly taking away our gun rights. i see a frown on your face and
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you were set to tear down the guns and to take away private property rights. i'm concerned about this nasa document from nasa that cites the cia, fbi, the southern command, atlantic command, etc.. it says seek carriers via form of attack, capture, torture americans in living color on prime time. terror attacks within the continental united states using biological, take down infrastructure and radiation against our brain. what are you doing about that? [applause] >> well. i know many of you sitting up here and i'm very proud to be a
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35-year resident of sonoma county. listening to everybody, the fear everybody has, it sounds like they are afraid our government is going to attack us. the biggest problem we have is that we are a violent society. what did we do in 9/11? we went and bond and destroyed a country that was innocent. what did our children see how we solve problems? the second thing is, with these guns, education, regulation, none of that is going to help until we start addressing the main issue. that is the violence our children are exposed to every single day from cartoons on the up. what do we say? we have that guy shooting his gun when he is chasing a cat. we have to look at what is happening with our media. the last thing i want to say is mr. thompson, i appreciate you being here, but there are two things i would suggest. number one, the fcc.
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stop taking away our airwaves so we can educate our children. the second thing is it please watch robert mcnamara's "the fog of war." find a way when we can have peace on earth and we will have peace in each of our communities. thank you. [applause] >> my name is brice and i've lived here my whole life. one thing i would like to see -- you can correct me if it has not already been done. i would like to see more avenues for a psychologist to appeal to a judge or to a board or for someone they think might be a danger to someone with out perhaps printing their name without violating their privacy. if they are considered dangerous, to check and see if they have guns on records and things like that. perhaps if they were wrong,
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there could be an appeal process. considering there has been a lot of talk about how extensive are background checks are, i would like to see maybe a little bit of trust in the public in passing legislation that would allow concealing carry permits for people who prove they are worthy. it should not involve one person deciding. if you want training to be mandatory, i suggest you make it cheaper very affordable. the idea of making a owning guns very expensive is an affront to poor people owning guns. [applause] >> my name is jeff for long. thank you for the opportunity. i'm a gun owner who doesn't want to lose his gun rights. most everything i have heard is open to argument. it's just a difference of opinion.
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but it cannot be argued that if you set a gun there and nobody touches it won't do any harm. it's not the gun. is the people use them. regulate the people, not the guns. [applause] >> my name is curtis. 21 years old. i've lived in napa, calif. my entire life. i'm a gun owner and aspire to be a police officer. the first thing that we do as human is to see -- as long as there is free will, people will make bad choices. we are not here to end gun violence because it gun violence used by police, citizens and military like that keep us safer in this country. we're here to end the killing of the innocent. everyone who is here is right for doing so. ask yourself not what others can do for you but what you can do for others. if you are a gun owner, train
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future weapons in the defense of yourself and others. if you don't own a gun are like them, support someone who does because they are someone who give of their life. i seek to protect others where they cannot protect themselves. we should be thinking that is support guns every day. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> you are the last one. you have a minute. my name is megan coffee and i'm short. i live in run the park. maybe somebody already said what i have to say, but i believe we should tackle this problem in small increments and start with what everyone can
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agree on, like closing the gun show loophole and people who are on the terrorist watch list, it seems like most people could agree on that. those things where we have common ground, get those past. just like with health care, we can't get to where everyone is covered until we start with the small measures. please do what you can and thank you for representing us. >> i want to thank everybody very much for being here. i appreciate coming out and sharing. that is to shared suggestions on how we could fix this, i appreciate that very much. everything i heard tonight will certainly fall into the mix. i have been holding hearings
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throughout washington with all of the experts from all of the aforementioned organizations and communities of interest, law-enforcement, education, and i have been doing the same in the district. all of that is going to be taken into consideration before my task force makes any recommendations. i just want to clarify one thing that was said twice tonight. that was that they are beating up on mental health. i don't think that's the case. everyone recognizes a huge part of this is mental health related. it is it not be enough. mental health has not been funded appropriately for some time and the problems keep getting bigger. we have to really make a commitment to that. the mental health of -- mental health component of what we're
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doing is going to be very important to that. thank you very much for coming. [applause] >> there were no mass shootings in the america until the cia was created. do your homework. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] in a few moments, president obama's news conference focusing on the debt ceiling and preventing gun violence. in less than an hour, more on reducing gun violence in a forum produced by john hopkins university. that includes comments from york city mayor michael blumberg. >> on "washington journal," our guests will include scott rigell of an virginia, a member of the budget and armed services committee. he will talk about his recent letter to his gop colleagues making a conservative case for more revenue.
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also, we will discuss the legislative agenda for the new congress with matthew cartwright, a member of the oversight and government reform committee. "washington journal" is live on c-span every day live at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> several live events to tell you about tomorrow. the national council of science and in varmint posts a form of disasters and the environment. after remarks from the head of fema, there'll be a discussion on the effects of hurricane katrina and the tsunami in japan. that is at 8:30 eastern. and c-span2 at 9:00 a.m., the ceo -- the brookings institution conference on the economy. guests will include the chairman of alcoa, procter and gamble, and and nike. >> student camp video entries with your message to the
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president are now due. get them to cease and by this friday for your chance at the grand prize of $5,000. there is $50,000 in total prices. go to studentcam.org. >> president obama told reporters at the white house that he would be open to using an executive order to raise the legal limit to pay its bills. he also talked about reducing gun violence. president of the united states. >> please have a seat. good morning. i thought it might make sense to take some questions this week as my first term comes to an end. it has been a busy and productive for years. i expect the same thing from i expect the same thing from the

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Politics Public Policy Today
CSPAN January 14, 2013 8:00pm-1:00am EST

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